By Holly Brouker, Career Coordinator, Berkshire Center
On Tuesday, November 9, 2010, the Berkshire Center Career Department was on display at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Pittsfield, MA. The Berkshire Center decided this could be a good venue to familiarize Berkshire County Businesses with the College Internship Program.
Upon registering, along with fifty other organizations, numerous individuals kicked into high gear to prepare a CIP display that would present our Student Interns and Community Service projects.
The National marketing team quickly gathered photographs from Careers collection of interns at work and community service events, as we parlayed back and forth until the final posters were created to display our students in action. Now all that was left was to gather the CIP materials from Admissions to complete our display, such as banners, and informational packets and fliers.
On the Monday before the event, my car was loaded with materials ready for the next evening’s event. I was able to utilize my early set up to network with various businesses also coming in and setting up before the 4 p.m. opening.
By 4 p.m., the ballroom was buzzing with people passing table to table gaining information about each other’s offerings. I found the best results were received as I visited another organization’s table with my business card and CIP flier in hand. This served my networking success method well. I met many business representatives I knew from the community who were very interested in exploring a community service project and/or intern with us in the near future.
Surprisingly, I met a mother of a former student at the Indiana site who raved about what CIP at Bloomington did for her son and was happy to speak with me and share her family’s positive experience.
My biggest reward was when Berkshire student Eric Sudman came to my assistance and manned the table with confidence and positive comments. Each time I went off on another contact delivery, when I returned, Eric was involved with an expo participant and sharing his knowledge of CIP and all the positive experiences he has had here. I was quite proud of his rapport and just stood by and listened as he introduced me as his Career Coordinator who supported his efforts in the culinary business.
As 7:30 p.m. finally arrived and our mouths were parched from excessive talking, we packed up and left feeling like the night was very productive.
I have since made contact with each of the organizations I spoke with that night and will follow up on how CIP students could be valued as interns or help them staff an up-coming special event. Many of these contacts show great promise of getting involved with CIP Berkshire Center in the near future, which is encouraging.
My thanks for all the assistance I received from Eric Sudman, Dan McManmon, Robert Oakes, Corinne Martin, Linda Syriac, Karen Noel, Maggi Sanderson and Lucy Allarie-Gosselin.
My hope is that we can do something similar again for the Lee and South County Chambers.