Job Fair Lectures Teach Worcester State Students How to Network

March 29, 2013
By: Joe Gullekson

In today’s economy, it can be hard to tell if people skills are more important that online skills, but the smart student knows that it is important to have both.

On Tuesday, March 26, Geraldo Maldonado and Michelle Fontaine were on campus to discuss the various methods of networking.

Maldonado’s “People Skills = 21st Century Skills” stressed the importance of a strong personal presence.

“When you meet someone, you immediately form an impression about them,” Maldonado said. “I’m judging you and you’re judging me—it’s human nature.”

Maldonado, an adjunct professor of business at Anna Maria College and Quinsigamond Community College, incorporates people skills into his curriculum. His students learn how to shake hands, how to network, and how to perfectly time an “elevator speech.”

“It’s your job to either confirm or change my mind when it comes to my first impression of you,” he said.

Michelle Fontaine’s “The Internet Connection: Using Social Media” stressed the importance of having a strong online presence.

Fontaine, author of the blog Social Media by Michelle, attests to the interactive power of social media sites like Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

“Everything is in real-time digital now,” she said. “You can’t ignore Facebook.”

To Fontaine, it is important to know the differences between each site, and the types of audiences they typically attract. Facebook, for instance, is the best site for businesses trying to reach out to consumers.

“It’s about the traffic drawn,” she says. “Where do you want your traffic to go?”

One thing Maldonado and Fontaine agreed upon was the increasing insignificance of the resume.

“The paper resume is so passé,” Fontaine said.

Maldonado said that the last time he got a job with his resume was in 1989.

“Figure out a way to meet people,” he said. “Networking is the best way for you to get yourself out there.”

The lectures were held in the Blue Lounge of the Student Center. They were accompanied by a job fair with representatives from such businesses as Wal-Mart, the YWCA, and the Worcester Art Museum.

Joe Gullekson ’13 is an English major at WSU.

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