Conference prepares seniors for life after graduation

Perception is reality and whiners don’t get promoted, a guest speaker told TCU seniors at the 14th annual University Career Services‘ Senior Conference.

Donald Asher, who was the main speaker for the weekend, did two sessions for seniors. His biographical information in the conference’s pamphlet lists him as the job search guru in America. Asher is also a consultant to top MBA programs and has written 10 books on various topics about getting jobs after college, according to the pamphlet.

Asher gave students tips on how to succeed in the workplace when first starting at a company, such as dress in the workplace, networking within a company, behavior at office parties and getting promoted, among others.

“The only way to do career development is by talking to people,” Asher said. “Start e-mailing people, calling people, talking to people and going to the career center because that’s how you discover what careers are like.”

The conference also allowed graduating seniors a chance to take a closer look at life after TCU and how different it is, said Mary Kathleen Baldwin, assistant director of University Career Services.

Senior marketing major Houston Bolin said he is unsure about his plans after college, whether he will attend graduate school or find a job right after graduation.

“I have a lot of fears,” Bolin said. “I don’t really know what I want to do yet, so everything is up in the air right now.”

Vanden Thong, assistant director of University Career Services, said the conference helps seniors who are unsure and settles some of their fears.

“It allows them to know other seniors are going through it too, and it is normal,” Thong said.

Senior communication studies major Chris Qualls said he came to the conference hoping to network.

“The main reason I came here is to get to know more people and to get my face out there,” Qualls said. “When I do make contact with them, they can put a face with a name.”

One of the main focuses of the conference is to help seniors with the transition from TCU, Baldwin said.

“It’s a totally different world from being here at TCU,” she said. “We really try and prepare students proactively for that transition.”

According to the conference pamphlet, students were able to listen to sessions by alumni and other business professionals on topics such as transitioning to the workplace, job search strategies, networking, interviews, financial planning and balancing work and play.

Courtney Loechl, a senior communication studies major, said she took a lot away from the conference.

“The conference really gave me a jump start to the career I want to do, how to make that happen,” Loechl said.