Nov. 17 ‘Backpacks to Briefcases’ provides job connections


backpacks to briefcases

John Synder, SRU associate director of career services, mentors students for the "Backpacks to Briefcases" employment networking program.

Nov. 16, 2015

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's Nov. 17 "Backpacks to Briefcases" program will provide students an opportunity to network with 45 successful alumni who work for Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young consulting, PNC Bank and other companies.

The program targets students and alumni from SRU's Colleges of Business and Health, Environment and Science.

The two-part program will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Russell Wright Alumni House and Conference Center with a presentation by John Snyder, associate director of career education and development.

Participants will then travel by bus to Gràzie restaurant in Wexford for a 6-8 p.m. networking reception with alumni.

Kelly Bailey, SRU director of alumni engagement, said the best-case scenario is students make connections leading to employment.

"It's a great opportunity for career exploration and making connections with alumni who graduated with similar degrees," Bailey said.

Participating students have been receiving coaching in appearance, tact and communication etiquette.

"My job is to get the students ready for networking," said John Rindy, director of the Office of Career Education and Development. So I have them introduce themselves, practice handshakes and discuss what topics might be appropriate for discussions. I serve as a facilitator rather than a lecturer. I seek students who have attended previously and ask them to share their advice and perspectives. I also share what I have heard from past participants about what to expect and to make the most of the evening."

Other alumni expected to participate will represent BNY Mellon, Highmark, MedExpress Urgent Care, Rue 21, UPMC and other companies. Several alumni who are mentoring students participated in Backpacks to Briefcases as undergraduates.

The alumni association, career education and development and the Green and White Society are sponsors.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 |