About the Backpack to Briefcase Series

In September and October, CEE presents a series of informational seminars geared towards preparing students for their transition to a professional workplace. This annual event features topics ranging from résumé preparation to salary negotiations and is an excellent opportunity for students to begin working towards a successful career. Each Backpack to Briefcase session is followed by a networking hour with pizza.

Details on the individual sessions and registration links are provided in the Session Guide below. To attend, click on the "Register" link to sign up. Note that participation is limited to current CEE students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. Registration for each session opens one week prior to that event. 

If you are an alumnus or company interested in participating or sponsoring a session, please contact Keely Ashman at kashman@illinois.edu or (217) 244-6804.

 

2017 Session Guide:


Putting Together a Knockout Résumé

Thursday, September 7
Yeh Center, Room 1310
5:30pm - 6:30pm

Have you ever asked yourself, "How do I fit my life onto one piece of paper?" Having trouble finding fun and interesting activities that will also attract the attention of potential employers? This session will give you the opportunity to meet CEE students with experiences both on and off campus that they have been able to use to their advantage on a résumé. In this panel discussion, students will answer questions about how to fill résumés with skills and activities that stand out. Be sure to come with questions of your own.

REGISTER
Registration open.


Recruiters: What They Want to Hear

Thursday, September 14
Yeh Center, Room 1310
5:30pm - 6:30pm

In a competitive market, knowing how to stand out in a crowd can make the difference between landing an internship/job or having your résumé end up in the discard pile. Recruiters will discuss the things they look for during their brief time with each prospective employee during job fairs. Presentation will be in panel format: representatives from different companies will answer prepared questions, and students will have the opportunity to ask their own.  Don’t forget to stick around and enjoy pizza with recruiters after the panel concludes.

REGISTER
Registration will open September 7.


CEE’s Résumé Review Night

Tuesday, September 19
Yeh Center, Room 1310
5:30pm

Bring your résumé to this review night and find out if it's ready for action. The session will start with a CEE Alumni Association board member giving a presentation about ways to craft a winning résumé and cover letter. Afterwards, you will be able to meet one-on-one with alumni who will look over your résumé and offer suggestions for revision. This event is a great way to prepare yourself for the CEE fall job fair and the Engineering Expo.

REGISTER
Registration will open September 12. 


The CEE Pre-Job Fair Networking Night 

Tuesday, September 26

Don't miss out on this opportunity to meet with recruiters outside of the job fair environment. The CEE Student Committee at the University of Illinois would like to invite you to a student reception and an informal networking event on Tuesday, September 26. The event will provide an opportunity for current CEE students to have conversations with recruiters and engineering professionals, and includes short information sessions by each company. Approximately 200 students and 15 companies participate.

INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION


Powering Through the Interview

Thursday, October 5
Yeh Center, Room 1310 
5:30pm - 6:30pm

Interviews can be unnerving. Come learn how to put the nerves to bed at the CEE B2B Powering Through the Interview seminar. The presentation is designed to explore the interview from both points of view: the employer’s and the prospective employee’s. Develop question answering strategies and skills that will help you leave a great impression on the interview team. Come with questions—there will be a chance to ask them afterwards over pizza.

REGISTER
Registration will open September 28.


Negotiating Salary and Job Benefits

Tuesday, October 10
Yeh Center, Room 1310 
5:30pm - 6:30pm

This discussion will focus on an often-overlooked aspect of one’s career: workplace negotiation. Learn about common pitfalls of workplace negotiation, how men and women negotiate differently, and how you can translate communication skills into an increased salary and better benefits. One immediate benefit: pizza and meet and greet with the panelists after the discussion.

REGISTER
Registration will open October 3.


What to Expect in the Workplace

Wednesday, October 18
Yeh Center, Room 1310 
5:30pm - 6:30pm

Making the transition from school to a professional workplace can be intimidating. Come learn how to adapt to the workplace as an intern or new hire. This panel discussion brings together CEE alumni and Alumni Association board members working in a variety of private fields such as consulting, design, and construction, as well as public sector municipalities and governmental agencies, to discuss their own personal working environments and conditions. Panelist will share advice on how to match your personality with workplace expectations and how to position oneself for career advancement.

REGISTER
Registration will open October 11.


International Career Search Success

Tuesday, October 24
Yeh Center, Room 1310 
5:30pm - 6:30pm

Searching for a job after graduation is a daunting task for all students. Added to an already stressful process, international students also have to be aware of visa policies, CPT/OPT options and legal obligations, all while selling themselves to a potential job opportunity. The team at Mott MacDonald is knowledgeable in the art of sponsoring F1 Visa employees, and will help you navigate the tricky waters to a successful job search. Learn tips and tricks during a short presentation by CEE alumni and current CEEAA Board Member, Michael Vitale, followed by a panel discussion with Mott MacDonald’s CEE International alumni. Stay afterwards to enjoy some pizza!

REGISTER
Registration will open October 17.