The Skyline College Learning Communities hosted the annual Learning Communities Career Conversations Night in-person and via Zoom (hyflex) on Thursday, February 23rd in Building 6. Students were invited to join us for a night of career conversations with professionals in a wide range of fields in four breakout rooms based on our guided pathways:

  • Arts, Languages and Communication (ALC)
  • Business, Entrepreneurship & Management (BEM)
  • Science, Technology & Health (STH)
  • Society & Education (SE)

Given the choice to come in-person (on a cold rainy night) or via zoom, over 100 students joined with the majority coming in-person and enjoyed the evening together with career panelists followed by dinner and mingling at the conclusion of the 80-minute career conversations. Students selected which room they would join based on their academic major or interest area and were able to review information about the panelists’ including their LinkedIn profiles provided beforehand via the RSVP form and also provided at the check-in table or main Zoom room. You can learn more about the different speakers by visiting: Career Conversations Night Breakout Room Handout.

Each breakout room discussion featured 5 or 6 professional speakers (many of which were Skyline College graduates!) and was facilitated by two Skyline College faculty or staff who artfully weaved together a list of previously provided questions with the opportunity for students to ask their own questions live and via Zoom. The Arts, Languages and Communication breakout room was facilitated Derek Allenby, ALC Job Placement Coordinator and Jessica Hurless, Communications Professor and Guided Pathways Co-Coordinator. The Business, Entrepreneurship and Management breakout room was Facilitated by Dr. Nate Nevado, Counselor and CIPHER Learning Community Coordinator and Shinna Kim, Counseling Intern. The Science, Technology & Health breakout room was facilitated by Brittney Sneed, STH Job Placement Coordinator and Bryan Swartout, STEM Center Program Services Coordinator. The Society & Education breakout room was facilitated by Alexa Moore, SE Job Placement Coordinator and ECE/COOP Instructor and Michelle Amaral, ECE Program Services Coordinator.

We were delighted to partner with Career Counseling to create a space for the launch of the Career Counseling Explorers program, with tabling and support from Kenny Gonzales, Career Counselor and Judith Martinez, Director of Student Support. The Explorers Program is designed to support students who are undeclared, undecided or exploring and can help with self-discovery and exploration through counseling and events like this. Students who are exploring are invited to seek support in this area by visiting and completing this short interest form

Student attendee feedback was overwhelmingly positive with a chance to provide feedback through a short post-event online form. Students shared some of the following comments with the planning team.

I loved the experiences and stories the panelist shared and hearing about their achievements, accomplishments and struggles in their field.
Although I came late, it was a good experience nonetheless to get some insight on what an art career could look like. General tips and advice is more than I can ask for without having to pay. Overall, good experience.
It was a really well planned out and organized event and I really think it was a very productive breakout room discussion. I learned more about the significance of a portfolio and how to handle/organize one in a way that employers will view me as someone to hire. The panelists were all very respectable individuals, and I could tell they were all genuinely passionate and happy about what they do especially when they were answering questions from the audience. One specific thing that stuck to me was probably Talia Taylor’s take on A.I art and how it is currently affecting the art community and how we as artists can counter that. Sandy Frank’s vast experience in graphic design was also incredibly insightful for me since graphic design is my declared major. Overall, all the panelist provided valuable information and insight that I think will definitely help develop me into the artist I want to be.
Very insightful and great communication within panelists conversations
I really enjoyed the closeness of the event and the way interaction was promoted so heavily.
It was very good and very nice to hear what the speaker experience, like how their mentor helped them and that it could be anyone
I enjoyed the variety of people on the panel. Their different perspectives and backgrounds made for an engaging session and supported a good amount of majors in that area.
I thought it was lovely and formal. Got to ask a few personal questions relating to my career field as a concept artist.
They are super cool
I felt like I was not alone, the panelist and everyone else had gone through the same situation as I. Not too old not the only one who constantly changing majors we are all lost and we just need guidance and advice to the panelist and they had given that to everyone and I in the room.
I really enjoyed this event and the questions to the panelists.
Today’s event was really helpful. Thanks to this event I get different perspectives from professionals that work in fields that I am consider exploring.
They are a lot of creative and open-minded ideas in California
It was amazing m and I am grateful for being able to attend
Experience is calm & tame. The lunch dinner portion helps network with the panelists after the session.

Hyflex events (in-person or via Zoom) are an important way to help support our students’ needs and can be especially useful with inclement weather as was the case on February 23rd. The planning team wants to give a special thank you to our new staff member, Joshua Porter, who successfully managed simultaneous hyflex instances in five different spaces with a calmness and specialized skillset that helped put and keep the event on the right track throughout the evening. Kudos to Josh and his student assistant Grace!

This event was generously financially supported by the Strategic Partnerships & Workforce Development Division, a Career Counseling President’s Innovation Fund & the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Program. Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this evening a success!

Please visit the Skyline College Learning Communities Facebook page to view all of the photos from the event: Career Conversations Night photo album.

Article and Photos by: Marisa Thigpen

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