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Registration deadline approaching for Smeal’s Diversity Enhancement Programs START Conference

February 25, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Business leaders from a variety of companies and members of both the Penn State Smeal College of Business and greater State College communities will gather virtually on March 25 to celebrate diversity at the START Conference. 

The conference is organized by a student-run committee that is largely comprised of Smeal students and supported by the Office of Diversity Enhancement Programs. Registration starts at 8:15 a.m. The formal conference gets underway at 9 a.m. It is free and open to all Penn State students, staff, faculty and community members. 

Attendees are asked to pre-register online by March 8. 

START (Striving Toward Awareness and Respect for Tomorrow) is a professional development conference designed to increase diversity and inclusion awareness in corporate settings. It includes networking opportunities and workshops on a variety of topics. 

The conference starts with an introduction of corporate recruiters:

  • Altria
  • Bechtel Corporation
  • Burlington
  • Boeing
  • Deloitte
  • Hershey Entertainment and Resorts
  • INROADS
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Kohl’s
  • KPMG
  • Merkle
  • PwC 

The morning keynote address will be delivered by Kevin Edwards, global manager of diversity and inclusion at Bechtel Corporation. 

Two breakout sessions will include topics that include:

  • “Six Traits of an Inclusive Leader”
  • “LGBTQ+ Cultural Passport: Let’s ALL Take a Trip Together”
  • “Diversity and Inclusion at Kohl’s”
  • “7 Pillars of Inclusion”
  • “Getting the Job — Resume and Interview Tips/Tricks”
  • “Discover Belonging with a BRG”
  • “Heads Up — You Have a Unique Competitive Advantage” 

Ken Bouyer, inclusiveness recruiting leader at EY Americas, will deliver the afternoon keynote address. 

The conference concludes with the 2021 START Diversity Award student presentations. 

For more information, visit the START Conference website.