PC Students Embrace Networking at ’23 Mocktails and Mingling Event

March 16, 2023
At Presbyterian College, what you know – and who you know – are both important.

At the college’s seventh annual “Mocktails and Mingling” this spring, students met nearly two dozen local business professionals, most of whom were PC alumni. The event, hosted by the Office of Career and Professional Development, allows students to meet new people, build a network of professional contacts, and hone their soft skills to succeed.

Kim Lane, the associate dean of students and director of career and professional development, said Mocktails and Mingling is open to all students regardless of their major or professional interest.

“In order to manage one’s career over a lifetime, it is imperative that every student, regardless of major, learn how to build professional networks or relationships – and Mocktails and Mingling provides a fun and non-threatening environment to practice career conversations and to share information and advice,” she said.

Lane said internships or employment leads might arise from the event, but there are other goals for the evening. Instead, students can leave their comfort zones and build social capital.

“Social capital is really important,” she said. “It’s really just connecting with other people and fields to build understanding. What do they do in their professions? Will I like it or not? It’s a good way to help someone validate or affirm whether the path they’re considering is really what they want to do.”

Most of the students who attended the event are seniors (18), but there were also 10 juniors, four sophomores, and a freshman. Half were business majors, but there was also an art major, a chemistry major, and two majoring in biology and computer science.

The guests in attendance represented diverse professional interests – accounting, information technology, human resources, sales, operations, mental health counseling, legal, and education.

Career and Professional Development also helped students develop their professional attire. Several students took advantage of Tartan Threads, the college’s career closet, and received a set of professional clothes to keep.

“Our students love Tartan Threads,” said Lane. “They’re so grateful to have professional attire – and they looked really great.”

The Office of Career and Professional Development’s commitment to providing outrageous service to students extends beyond events like Mocktails and Mingling and programs like Tartan Threads.

Lane and associate director Lynn Downie are certified global career development facilitators endorsed by the Center for Credentialing and members of the National Association for Colleges and Employers. Their training and education keep them current on employment trends and career coaching best practices, including coaching students from diverse backgrounds.

“Our mission is to help every student with their career and professional development at any point of their college career – from major exploration to job and graduate school searching,” Lane said. “We offer individual career advising, facilitate career programming, and interact with employers to develop internships and jobs for our students.”

Downie added that when students benefit, all of the individual appointments, the work behind the scenes, and the planning for events like Mocktails and Mingling are worth it.

“The work we do, isn’t just our job,” she said. “It’s part of who we are.”

Mocktails and Mingling Guests

  • Natarsha Adams – S.C. Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon
  • Morgan Barr ’15 – Elliot Davis
  • Dane Bohnstedt ’13 – Consolidated Electric Distributors
  • Brandon Bolt – S.C. Highway Patrol
  • Eric Chapman – Milliken and Co.
  • Alexis Davies – World Finance Corp.
  • Jerius Duncan ’20 – Cintas
  • Hillary Emanuel ’14 – Robert Half
  • Avril Fennell ’12 – Gateway Counseling
  • Jamil Green – Enterprise Holdings
  • Walter Howard ’01 – Greenville Counseling Assoc.
  • Sterling Ivey ’13 – TNB Financial Services
  • Cassie Kelly ’17 – Elliot Davis
  • Sara Moody ’16 – S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control
  • Jackson Smith ’13 – Priority1
  • Deon Speaks ’14 – Entrepreneur
  • Peri Stark ’17 – 16th Circuit Solicitor’s Office
  • David Underwood ’05 – Hubbell Inc.
  • Paige Warren-Long – Blue Cross Blue Shield of S.C.
  • Will Williamson ’21 – NAI Earle Furman
  • Brian Wilson ’11 – Sumter County School District