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Networking event to connect students to Peoria professionals

BY SHANNON BACHAR
of the Scout

Bradley students can make their way to the bar next week for pizza, wings and networking.
Students will be able to meet members of the Young Professionals of Greater Peoria (YPGP) and other community members to learn about opportunities after college 5 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Fieldhouse Bar and Grill.
Hosted by YPGP and sponsored by Heartland Bank, the event will allow students to seek what opportunities are in Peoria and become acquainted with community members who can assist in finding a job.
Junior and Event Coordinator for the Board of YPGP Kyle Lewis said other organizations in attendance include the BU Financial Management Association, the business fraternity and a few others.
“This is the first time we will be holding this event,” Lewis said. “We are hoping that this will become a strong annual event for us and Bradley students.”
The idea for the networking event came as a suggestion from senior mathematics major Tyler Beason, who reached out to YPGP wanting to do something outside of the typical school events.
“The main reason I wanted to start something like this was that while Bradley may provide some interaction between students and employers, it generally doesn’t allow for much genuine conversation,” Beason said.
Beason said that events on campus are always formal and structured, and those guidelines don’t allow people to open up.
“The realization of this led me to the idea for a much more relaxed event with hardly any structure and no guidelines, just students mingling with professionals,” he said.
As soon as Beason reached out to YPGP with the idea to set something up, the members began putting the plan into action.
“Networking is an area that is very important to building business relationships and can’t really be taught in the classroom,” Lewis said.
Overall, the event will give students a chance to talk and learn to network with young professionals and to start expanding their business connections to better prepare for a job after college.
“The main benefit will be for students to meet professionals in various fields, to learn how they got to where they are and to gain confidence and comfort in networking,” Lewis said.