Professional panel offers students optimism

In Campus News, News

By Katelin Paiz
Daily Titan Staff Writer

Despite the current state of the economy, there are still jobs out there for hard working students that know how to play by the rules, a panel of seven leaders of the business community speaking at the Titan Student Union on Oct. 29 said.

Erik R. Gomez and Gil Sotelo speak with Christine Cabotaje after the event. Photo by Kaitlin Paiz
Erik R. Gomez and Gil Sotelo speak with Christine Cabotaje after the event. Photo by Kaitlin Paiz

The event was hosted by Delta Sigma Pi, the Society for the Advancement of Management, Gamma Iota Sigma, the Finance Association, the Entrepreneur Society, Student Managed Investment Fund and the Future Business Leaders of America.

“(The panel is) about business and handling yourself in the business world,” said Izabela Nip, 27, a finance major and member of the Finance Association. “We’re doing this for the benefit of all students and making sure they have the tools to get the best possible job.”

Among the 50 or so students in attendance were business majors from a variety of concentrations and other students interested in hearing what the group of seasoned business professionals had to say about the economy.

One attendee, Christine Cabotaje, 22, a business major with a concentration in tourism and entertainment, said that she wanted to learn “the ins and outs of how to break into business and what to expect.”

Among the businesses represented at the event were Pepsi Bottling Group, Orange County’s Credit Union and ELLS Certified Public Accountants & Business Advisors. I looked this up and this is the correct capitalization and spelling of Ells and advisors -Sofia Arvidson 11/1/09 5:14 PM

“I know when I was (a student) here people came to speak, and I wanted to return the favor,” said Patty Jimenez, the representative for Orange County’s Credit Union and graduate of Cal State Fullerton’s International Business program.

While there is a lot of competition out there for work, the panel suggested that there is still hope.

“There are a lot of opportunities,” said Erik R. Gomez, financial representative with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. “Don’t let the media fool you.”

On taking advantage of those opportunities, the panel was very specific.

“Look for companies that are recession proof,” said Pete Fisher, staffing and development manager with Pepsi Bottling Group. Fisher said that the Pepsi company has been relatively unscathed by the recession.

The panel also stressed the importance of knowing the company that one has applied to.

“If you’re applying for a job and there’s a Web site, you should really memorize that Web site,” said Gil Sotelo, an event producer from A Night to Remember.

The panel stated another thing that makes a big difference is sending a handwritten thank you note, although an e-mail is also acceptable.

“Handwritten notes show someone took the time,” said Sinan Kanatsiz, chairman and CEO of KCOMM.

The panel also encouraged students to be truthful.

“Don’t try to B.S. us on how much you know,” said Paul Cocking, chief portfolio manager at the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector. “What we really want to know is how eager you are.”

“Your resumé should be nice, but it should also be indicative of what you know how to do,” Jimenez said.

The GPA proved to be one of the many factors important in the application process.

“If I were to say GPA didn’t count, I’d be lying,” said Maria T. Arriola, a CPA with ELLS CPA & Business Advisors.

However, integrity seemed to be the key word of the night.

“Personal integrity is a pillar,” Kanatsiz said. “Integrity is not a part-time job. It’s not something you can turn on and off,” Sotello said.

At the end of the two hour event, the panel members disseminated throughout the crowd of students to mingle and offer their advice.

“It was beneficial for the students to see the speakers from the different fields,” said Rockey Bustamante, 19, a business management major and member of SAM. “It was good to hear that, although the economy is bad, there are still opportunities out there.”

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