PITTSBURGH-- When English major Matt Bower left the Creative Careers Seminar held at Carnegie Mellow University on Friday, he was heading back to his afternoon classes at Westminster with something most college seniors wish they had, a internship interview. He'll be interviewing with a computer game design firm.
"I got an interview with a game designer," Bower said. "It's a fledgling industry in Pittsburgh and it's a really cool opportunity."
He joined some 30 other Westminster students who traveled to Pittsburgh for the annual event in P where professionals from a number of creative fields come together to speak with students about resumes, portfolios, internships and career advice. Bower attended the Interactive Media panel that included representatives from Schell Games, General Dynamics C4 Systems, Pikimai.com and Etectera Edutainment.
Junior Broadcast Communications major Drew Trifelos also walked away with the door open for an internship interview opportunity with the Steelers Sports Network. This is the second year Trifelos has attended the Creative Careers Seminar. Trifelos explained he say people with resumes and business cards last year approaching panelists and asking about internships and interviews. He took that idea and ran with it as he returned to the CMU campus.
"This year I had resumes and I was prepared to go up and ask the panelists about internships," Trifelos said. "I handed out two of my resumes and they asked me to also e-mail electronic versions.
Trifelos talked David Zema, FUSE-TV, and Sandy Romah, host and producer with the Steelers Television Network. Trifelos is very excited as he has an interview for an internship confirmed with one of them and he says attending this seminar is a huge networking opportunity.
"I met a lot of interesting people including some Westminster graduates in public relations and broadcasting fields," Junior PR major Pat Sylves said. "They told me about some possible internship. I made a lot of contacts. "
The Pittsburgh Arts Employment Partnership (PAEP) a part of a collaboration of 13 local colleges and Universities sponsor the Creative Careers Seminar, which includes Westminster College. Students attending the event pre-register and pay a $5 fee. Some of the other panel sessions included Advertising & Marketing, Design & Multimedia, Arts Management, Film and Broadcast Media, Independent Artists and Performing Art.
Westminster's Career Center organizes a convoy for interested students. Many of those were from Broadcast Communications because instructors encourage them to attend and require the BC Capstone students to participate.
Sophomore BC student Hannah Paczkowski appreciated the Film and Television panel session she attended. She learned she's doing exactly what she needs to to be on track with her resume in broadcast news.
"I'm on the right track on where I want to go with my career," Paczkowski said. "I know where I should be going in the next few years when it comes to internships."
Probably the most common advice given out by the professionals populating the panels was about polishing resumes for specific employers. Pittsburgh Business Times Advertising Director Kimberly Wohlford stressed that people right out of college must make sure the customize a resume for a particular job and company rather than just sending out a generic one. She also warned you should always spend time and editing a resume before you send it.
"It could be a really good resume that shows off some wonderful things you've done, but if there's a typo then I pitch it," Wohford said. "This person wasn't responsible and careful enough and detailed oriented enough to check.
Advice was a big part of what panelists had to offer and for those few with initiative like Matt Bower, they walked away with more than just insight into resume building and networking. He impressed a potential employer he is more than a soon-to-be college graduate.
"This is a great opportunity to network and meet people," Bowers said. "You get to talk to people in a close-knit environment and I got a job interview."
Westminster's Career Center's staff will soon begin coordinating with the PAEP for next year's event. They will coordinate recruitment campaign sometime while remaining hopeful that as many Westminster students will take advantage of it.
More photos from the 2010 Creative Careers Seminar