Virtual networking event will help diverse students find careers

A collaboration between the University of Oregon and Oregon State University will help empower students with marginalized identities gain confidence as they explore careers and establish themselves in the workforce.

The Oregon Diversity Career Symposium will take place virtually May 19 from 1 to 6 p.m.

The annual symposium has traditionally been an in-person event that was jointly organized by the UO and OSU. This year the two universities made a renewed effort to bolster the event, collaborating on the format, contributing workshop ideas, and gathering alumni for panel discussions and networking.

“We’re proud to be working with our colleagues at Oregon State University,” said Paul Timmins, executive director of the University Career Center. “We’ve collaborated with them on other projects this spring and have found that by unifying our efforts on important goals, we can make a greater impact for our students.”

Chabre Vickers The keynote speaker will be Chabre Vickers, regional vice president community development officer for Wells Fargo & Co. Vickers leads the company’s initiatives in Oregon and Southwest Washington that support low- and moderate-income communities.

Vickers’ presentation will be followed by workshop breakouts, alumni panels and a networking session.

“I’m especially excited that our breakout sessions were chosen by a panel of students,” Timmins said. “The topics being covered are what the students wanted to learn about.”

Breakout topics include imposter syndrome, microaggressions in the workplace, professionalism and identity in the workplace, managing finances, navigating pay gaps, and evaluating job offers. The alumni breakouts will consist of two alumni from each university with a variety of backgrounds.

“There’s a nice mix of alumni who represent different industries and career paths so that students can get a sense of the career journeys that fellow Ducks and Beavers have taken,” said Johanna Seasonwein, associate director for employer engagement.

Culminating with a virtual networking session, the symposium will use Remo, a platform for interactive webinars and virtual conferences.

“When you enter the virtual space, it’ll actually seem like a room with tables, chairs and a screen,” Seasonwein said. “Students can virtually move around the space, join a table and chat with different employers.”

The keynote speech and the workshop presentations will be recorded and made available after the event.

“We want students to feel like they have some tools that could help them navigate their career exploration, the process of applying to jobs and entering the workforce,” Seasonwein said. “We also want them to come away with the confidence to own their own story and know that they bring a lot of value with their identities.”