Smeal Student Organization Hosts Networking and Etiquette Event
On Friday, Feb. 8, the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) hosted its annual Netiquette dinner, a chance for students to learn about and practice networking skills and proper dining etiquette.
The event was held the week before the Penn State Smeal College of Business' corporate associate, marketing, and supply chain career fairs to improve students’ abilities to make an impression on recruiters.
"I think that, by spring semester, students feel a little discouraged if they haven’t gotten a job or an internship yet, but we try to show them that they still have opportunities and help them go after them," said NABA president Fuad Ligali, an actuarial science junior.
Though NABA is a Smeal student organization, students from across the University are welcome to attend their events.
"We’re a smaller organization, so we try to focus on professional development skills that everyone will need," Ligali said. Getting a diverse group of people involved—beyond just racial and gender diversity but including diversity of mindsets and opinions—is an important part of NABA’s mission.
"I want my members to understand the importance of involvement on campus," said Ligali.
Though a heavy snowstorm coming through that Friday interrupted some of NABA’s pre-dinner event plans, about 85 students still attended the etiquette dinner with company invitee Capital One—this is the highest attendance since the event began several years ago.
And even though not everything went as planned, Ligali said he and his fellow NABA members looked at it as a good learning experience: "You may face obstacles, but you have to move forward and get things done," said Ligali.
NABA is hoping to hold a networking expo in March to connect with the companies that were unable to attend this month’s event.
NABA works actively with business firms, corporations, colleges, and alumni of Penn State in placing minority candidates in positions in various business fields, which also providing technical seminars for those considering careers in accounting, finance, marketing, and management.