On Friday, Feb. 14, EOU students and business professionals gathered at Eastern Oregon University to engage in career-oriented conversation at the Launch Networking Dinner. The Launch Networking Dinner is EOU Career Services’ annual professional networking and mentoring event, centering on student development through the lens of career planning. Last year, the event connected 42 students with employers representing a wide array of industries, agencies and nonprofits. This year, the event expanded to serve over 60 students from a diverse range of majors, ethnic backgrounds and hometowns to meet employers as they launch their career journeys.

Attendees included Oregon Humanities, Oregon Health and Science University, North Fork John Day Watershed Council, Maxwell Heritage Interpretive Center, La Grande School District, IW Group, Umpqua Bank, ThreeMile Canyon Farms, Grande Ronde Hospital, Ford Family Foundation, Department of Human Services, ChalkBoard Project and Achieving the Dream. Students and professionals discussed career aspirations and goals while gaining helpful insight on how to get there. Students had the opportunity to mingle and present their resumes to employers. Philanthropist Maurizio Valerio, Field Coordinator at the Ford Family Foundation, said his job is to invest in relationships. Each day, Valerio explained, he places a coin in his metaphorical piggy bank. The piggy bank represents the value he gains from having meaningful interactions, such as networking and building professional relationships.

Eastern Oregon University Career Services offers in-person coaching and online resources to help students broaden their career choices and understand the value of their education in relation to employment. This includes outreach to students in all academic programs, on- and off-campus, coupled with outreach to employers, service providers and government agencies. For more information regarding events like this, contact Director of Career Services Justin Chin at jchin@eou.edu.

Written by PR Intern Briana Rosenkranz.