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On the Spot (Science Industry Prep)

by Shirley Farrar, Rowan University

The ON THE SPOT campaign is always in preparation for our next ‘Big Event” at the Office of Career Advancement at Rowan University. I was privileged to create and design the 1st Annual Science Industry Event on October 3, 2018, and to partner with the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM), and the American Chemical Society Club (ACSC). Our
efforts to provide our underrepresented science students and alumni an opportunity to network exclusively with 13 prominent science employers specifically hiring, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, and Chemical Engineering. Inside the state of the art Jean & Ric Edelman Planetarium, employers were afforded the opportunity to present a PowerPoint
presentation to students. With our limited marketing, this 1st Science Industry Event, yielded approximately 200 students. This was a great day for our students, which has reflected popularly on LinkedIn.

Prior to the event, I tried hurriedly to meet with my CSM students, to discuss mock interview questions, and to prep resumes. However, the planned science event was in haste to arrive, and there wasn’t enough time to prep and to meet all students. Being a part of a career center, always planning our next ‘Big Event’, the ON THE SPOT campaign partnered with the Chemistry and Physics advisors. If we were going to have our science student’s network with prominent employers, then we assuredly better equip them for the event. This process involved providing the convenience of Speed Walk-In days, for Advising and Career Counseling. There were two additional specialized Science Industry Prep days for resume critique which included the 30-Second Elevator Pitch.

Students were very curious about the ‘concept’ of the 30-Second Elevator Pitch derived, and I was obliged to tell them the anecdote. In 1852, an American Engineer, Elisha Graves Otis, invented a ‘locking system’ called an elevator pitch’. This device was used to catch and secure any elevator from plunging straight into the ground (NIHF, 2016). This same concept, “catch and secure”, is used in a career concept, “to catch the attention of the potential employer and to secure a networking opportunity”. This concept is being used to assist higher education students, particularly at Rowan University, and universally it’s called the “30-Second Elevator Pitch”. There is always a 50/50 split, of students believing this tale.

Previously in *Fall 2018, EACE, ON THE SPOT blog, I mentioned that I’m constantly reflecting on the data and preparing for the next year’s campaign. As a career counselor, in the Office of Career Advancement, we recognize the necessity for students to attend events such as workshops, career fairs, and industry events. More important they help to
engage our students with the career information we’ve provided them. Our career workshops are based on theory, framework, and concepts; in order to promote life planning, decision making strategies, career knowledge, and inner development to perform to one’s personal potential (Williams, 2012).

I’m very proud that our Rowan University students continue to remind me of my purpose at the university level. I look forward to “engaging with students, understanding and meeting their needs, and partnering with them on their college to career journey”. Thank you to all the ACS Club volunteers, participants of the 1st Science Industry event, who continue to inspire me with ideas to help my higher education community.
In the next few months ON THE SPOT campaign will expand its territory by partnering with several science organizations, advisors, and establish across campus collaborations. This process of discovery has intrigued me.

Shirley Farrar is a Career Counselor for the Office of Career Advancement at Rowan University. She has over ten years of community and faith-based advisement experience, a Bachelor degree in Psychology, a Masters in Higher Education in Administration, and a Masters in Counseling in Educational Settings. Shirley has a published thesis entitled Motivations for participation in adult education of predominately African Americans in a religious organization, in addition to an action research thesis entitled On The Spot Career Readiness Awareness. She is currently working on community consultation and education through a New Jersey 501C3 nonprofit organization.

NIHF, (2016) National Inventors Hall of Fame, Retrieved October 16, 2018
COLLEGE STUDENT RETENTION, Vol. 13(1) 37-62, 2011-2012

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