Networking at Neyland

Andrew Kilgore (’10), end-user support account manager at TEKsystems in Knoxville, knows from experience the advantage that can come from attending a Networking at Neyland event. Last February, he met senior Tanner Hartman (’15). They kept in touch, and when Hartman graduated in December, Kilgore hired him.

At this year’s event, Kilgore was so impressed with senior marketing major Sarah Hirschy—who had done plenty of research on his company—that he invited her to an open house at TEKsystems.

For four years, Networking at Neyland—sponsored by the Center for Career Development, the UT Alumni Association, UT Knoxville Alumni Programs, and Tennessee Athletics—has been giving soon-to-be graduates an opportunity to practice the skills of making connections, presenting oneself, engaging in conversation, and following up afterward. While the event is not billed as a job fair, students sometimes walk away with prospects for jobs or internships.

At the most recent event, some 100 UT students arrived early at Neyland Stadium for a quick course by Career Development staffers on the keys to networking.

Students then moved to a catered reception on the Tennessee Terrace, where they put those skills into practice with 100 business leaders and prospective employers, most of whom were UT alumni.

Sarah Wingo, an animal science major, was introduced to Lisa Hood Skinner (’80), whose husband Steven (’79) is a veterinarian. Lisa shared tips that Steven has learned in his career. “You’ve got to be comfortable with large and small animals,” she said. “There’s a shortage of vets for larger animals.”

Having moved from her native Ghana just a year ago, Abena Otchere-Boateng, a senior in business administration, welcomed any steps toward establishing a network that might get her a job in finance. She was able to meet Misha Cooper, the Career Development staff member in charge of the financial sector, who offered some advice on networking in the finance world.

To learn about the next Networking at Neyland event, visit career.utk.edu.

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