St. Thomas Law hosts inaugural “Speed Networking” Workshop to benefit
students’ networking skills
Miami Gardens, FL – On the evening of March 13, St. Thomas University School of Law hosted its first “speed networking” workshop, providing students the opportunity to meet with many alumni and improve their networking skills. Held on campus and co-sponsored by the St. Thomas Law Alumni Association and St. Thomas Law’s career services and alumni relations offices, the speed networking session lasted one hour, allowing each student to sit down with about 10 to 12 attorneys for five-minute conversations. A reception for the students and alumni took place afterward, providing students and attorneys another opportunity to mingle with one another in a more casual environment.
The overall goal of the event was to emphasize the importance of building connections, and of expanding one’s network within the South Florida legal community. The 35 students who participated were very pleased to meet so many alumni they might not have otherwise had a chance to speak with in a much larger setting. “St. Thomas Law has been great in teaching us the law. It is encouraging and nice to know that they are also concerned about our future employment as well,” said Rishma Sooknandan, a third-year student who will be graduating this spring.
“Networking skills are important for our students’ professional development, and through this event I was hoping to provide them the chance to meet with multiple, successful attorneys from different practice areas and professional backgrounds,” said Peter T. Kelly, Assistant Dean for Alumni Relations at St. Thomas Law. “I think it helped, too, that all these attorneys had something in common with the students: they were once in their shoes here at St. Thomas.”
“I think it’s fantastic that the law school is connecting its alumni with its current students,” remarked Armando G. Hernandez, Esq., a 2010 St. Thomas Law graduate and now an associate at Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell in Miami. “I was happy to speak with the students tonight. The speed networking session brought a diverse group of experiences and practices together in a unique way.”
Students who are nervous about entering a challenging job market appreciated the experience and felt that it gave them something much more than what a regular speed networking event offers.
“Networking events can be very impersonal and frequently do not allow true connections to happen when you are a student. If you are not practicing yet, you may feel like you do not have that much to offer. Having the alumni here to help and guide us makes me feel better prepared to face the market when I finally graduate,” said Ms. Sooknandan.