Big East schools gather at the garden for networking event

Livia Paula, Assitant Features Editor

The Big East Conference held its career-networking event on March 13 at Madison Square Garden. Students from St. John’s, Seton Hall, Georgetown, DePaul, Butler, Marquette, Providence College, Villanova, Xavier and Creighton participated in the event.

Students had the opportunity to speak with 40 different employers, including the NYPD, Boar’s Head, Foot Locker, U.S. Peace Corps and Madison Square Garden. Site visits were also available for a limited number of students.

The event also had a formal address from the Big East Athletic Conference Commissioner, Val Ackerman. Students also had the chance to win tickets to the Big East semifinals that evening.

Many St. John’s students were present at the event. Senior Michael Tully said he was thankful to be part of a Big East school. However, the sports management student thought the event wasn’t as sports-oriented as he thought it would be.

According to Tully, he spoke with different employers and had the chance to network, even if the companies were not directly related to his major.

“You never know where there’s an opportunity,” he said.

The representative of PLS Logistics, Kristy Newton, said that these networking events are great opportunities not only for the students but also for the companies. According to Newton, these events contribute largely to their hiring process.

Another St. John’s senior, Blake Ballard, said that he had the opportunity to speak with Val Ackerman, as well as representatives of other companies. Similar to Tully, Ballard believes that you “never know where you are going to land.”

Executive director of the St. John’s University Career Services, Denise Hopkins, said that she was “delighted” with the outcome of the event and that it was very successful. Hopkins was highly involved in the organization of the event. According to her, having the Big East commissioner speak elevated the event.

In addition to the students attending the events, alumni and administrators from all the different schools attended and supported the event, including St. John’s Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Kathryn Hutchinson.

“I’m super thrilled that St. John’s students responded so strongly to this event and that they are so committed to their professional and career development,” Hopkins said. “I think that it is a tribute to the work ethic and the focus of our student body,” she said.