The Business Advisory Council (BAC) at UIC Business dates back to 1969. It was one of the original organizations within the Business College, and remains one of the core connections between UIC Business and Chicago’s business community. Through BAC, countless UIC students have made their introductions to Chicago businesses over the years, and continue to do so. Toward the end of the fall '15 semester, BAC brought some Deloitte staff on campus to meet students. Sam Vaghmare, a freshman student in the Business Scholars program, attended the event alongside many of her UIC Business classmates.
Although BAC wasn’t my first networking event, the layout was new. In the past, I’d met professionals individually. This event was organized around small group meetings, which introduced me to more people by sparing me the lines of students waiting for that one-on-one meeting. It also let me observe how my classmates interact with visiting professionals, which, by taking some of the pressure off, gave me the comfort to interact more than I had at past events. And in the end we all wondered around the room chatting individually with whomever we’d already met.
It was during the less structured portion of the event that I exchanged information with a few people, banking professionals mostly. During the group meetings, I’d discussed my interests in finance and technology, and, much to my surprise, it was the one of the visitors, Hilda Onate of BMO Financial Group, who sought me out to keep in touch. Hilda studied IDS at UIC Business, just as I intend to do, and began as a bank intern before rotating through departments. So now I have this great contact in banking, someone with an IDS background from UIC, and also a role model of sorts, a woman working in business and tech.
I also got to meet Skip Landon (Merrick Ventures), Clark Delanois (Northern Trust), and John Adams of Adams & Co., and with each of them I heard about their experience at UIC Business and their path from college to career. Most of them moved up through internships, which was a clear message - meet people now and build a network, so that I can branch out early, while I’m still in school. The sooner I make contact with the companies I’m interested in, the better.