Toppel gives chance for networking

Students will get a chance to meet and network on Thursday with alumni and successful members of the Miami community at Toppel Career Center’s career symposium, the biggest networking event at the University of Miami to date.

“It is a one-day conference where we would have alumni come back and serve as panelists to empower students with advice about they’re experience after finishing up college,” said Christian Garcia, the director of Toppel.

Students are encouraged to wear business casual attire to the free event. The conference is open to alumni and current students.

“We have panelists from all different arenas from local reporter Eliot Rodriguez to Dr. Sean Kenniff in the healthcare field,” Garcia said. “All panelists will give advice and add a new perceptive to the conference.”

Approximately 18 alumni will be attending the conference and the majority of the panelists will also be alumni.

“One of the many goals of the event is to showcase the variety of career paths students can take after graduation and the benefits of a UM degree from an alumni perspective,” said Edwarwd Cruz, assistant director of graduate students and alumni programs at Toppel.

The event will open with a keynote speech at 9:30 a.m. A moderator will be present for each session to introduce the panelist and drive the conversations. After each panel there will be a question-and-answer period open to the students and alumni.

“The one obstacle was that students will be having class, so students are allowed just to come for one section depending on their schedule,” said Frits Bigham, assistant director of internships and assessment at Toppel.

Students and alumni must register on the Toppel Web site in order to attend the event, which will be held at the Newman Alumni Center.

“It is great when students can learn about a specific industry,” Garcia said. “It’s even better when they can hear it from an alum- someone who has been in their shoes.”

Elizabeth Nickerson may be contacted at