Pictured above: Chris Polakowski, Dr. Bela Florenthal, and Marlena Metting

Beta Gamma Sigma hosted its semi-annual Cotsakos College of Business professional enrichment event on November 21, 2013. The event was presented by Beta Gamma Sigma’s president, Dr. Bela Florenthal. In case you missed the event, the objective was to emphasize the benefits of joining the William Paterson Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter and the importance of utilizing LinkedIn as a professional networking tool. The first half of the event was designed to illustrate how much of an honor to be invited to join Beta Gamma Sigma. Being part of this honor society is not just a line on a resume, it is an lifetime network of high- achieving professionals. It is a significant achievement that can be an indicator of future success in the professional world that can be taken with you wherever you go.

Dr. Florenthal also shared with the attendees how the chapter has grown over since it has started. Additionally she shared especially exciting news about Beta Gamma Sigma’s William Paterson Chapter meeting its goals last spring by becoming an exploratory chapter by achieving a 70%  membership overall acceptance rate indicating that one honor student is selected to receive a scholarship for his or her achievement.

The second half of the event demonstrated the ever-growing importance of not only joining LinkedIn but utilizing it to its maximum capacity. Continual maintenance and use of one’s LinkedIn can give him or her the extra edge in the competitive professional world. It is becoming more and more common for potential employers to review your profile prior to hiring you. LinkedIn profiles should be designed to give a snapshot of who you are as an individual and as a professional, therefore it is very critical to choose the right information that best represents what you can do and what your skill sets are.

For those who already have LinkedIn profiles, Dr. Florenthal emphasized how LinkedIn can be so much more than just as online resume. She educated the audience about the importance of understanding and continuously utilizing its different features that can often be overlooked. A particularly useful feature is the easy access to articles in your industry of interest. This enables the user keep up with the latest advances and discussions which shows that they are a knowledgeable potential employee during interview and other disucussions. LinkedIn is also gives you the capabilities to write and receive letters of recommendation to further give you the extra edge over others in the job market.

Another fantastic feature of LinkedIn that was discussed during the event is “Introductions” which allows the user to contact members in their extended network through other people they know. If you are looking to contact another professional who is as much as two or three degrees away from you, you can request an “introduction” through one of your connections. When your connection sees this, he or she has the ability to forward your message on to the desired recipient allowing you to expand the quality of your network.

If you missed the event and are interested in knowing more on the proceeding subjects, a second professional event on similar topics is scheduled to be held during the spring semester. The exact date, time and location of the spring event are still to be determined.