LA GRANDE — Valentine's Day provided dozens of students at La Grande's Eastern Oregon University with opportunities to make connections for their futures.
EOU Career Services held its annual Launch Networking Dinner, which invites soon-to-be graduates to mingle with a range of business leaders while discussing their goals and resumes. The professional networking and mentoring event took place Friday evening and allowed students and business professionals to engage in career-oriented conversation.
"Traditional career fairs can be heavy on handshakes and light on meaningful interactions, so EOU Career Center Director Justin Chin designed a new type of event that gives students and employers more elbow room," according to Eastern spokesperson Vicky Hart.
The university reported last year's dinner connected 42 students with employers representing an array of industries, agencies and nonprofits. And 40% of those students, Hart said, applied for a job or internship with one of the employers they met at the dinner.
This year, the event expanded to allow more than 60 students from a diverse range of majors, ethnic backgrounds and hometowns to meet employers as they launch their career journeys.
"Students and professionals discussed career aspirations and goals while gaining helpful insight on how to get there," EOU reported in a news release.
Attendees included Oregon Health and Science University, La Grande School District, ThreeMile Canyon Farms and Achieving the Dream.
Philanthropist Maurizio Valerio, field coordinator at the Ford Family Foundation, told students at the event his job is to invest in relationships. Each day, Valerio explained, he places a coin in his metaphorical piggy bank. The piggy bank represents the value he gains from having meaningful interactions, such as networking and building professional relationships.
For more information regarding events like this, contact Chin at email@example.com.