Bulls in Biz gave students the opportunity to meet local business owners, and presented the opportunity to mingle with USFSM grads.

SARASOTA (October 29, 2012) – University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee students in all departments had an opportunity to network with former students and current business owners and operators at Bulls in Biz recently during Homecoming 2012. The event included over 50 students, alumni and friends from USFSM who mingled in the Clyde Nixon Courtyard on campus.

Guests networked in a fun outdoor setting that included food, drinks and “tailgate-style games.” The second annual Bulls in Biz highlighted a week full of activities on campus as a part of Homecoming week, and served to bring USFSM students, past and present, together.

Toni Ripo of USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Career Services helped organize the event, and saw the importance in bringing together students and alumni. “Alumni can show students that they do not need to leave paradise to find great jobs,” Ripo said.  “They can share about their company and the viable employment options available right here in the Sarasota Bradenton area.  Students gain invaluable information about the job search process and employer expectations in today’s workforce.”

In its second year, Bulls in Biz attracted business people from across the Tampa Bay area including several who graduated from USF Sarasota-Manatee.

“Today’s employers hesitate to hire unknown quantities even after review of a resume and an interview,” Ripo said.  “A referral from contacts within a network is key to gaining a foot in the door with a company.  The first goal of networking is to seek to help others accomplish their goals.  Through this interaction, students demonstrate their abilities and become a known quantity in which contacts are more likely to make referrals to help them get their foot in the door.”

Carol Springer, a senior Criminal major, will be graduating in December and used the opportunity to meet face-to-face with employers in hopes of finding a full-time job upon graduating. “I really want to get a Federal position,” Springer said. “It is very tough to get jobs with the Federal government. I have applied in the past five years to probably several hundred positions, and you don’t ever get a call back because everything is done through computers. So, it was nice to see humans that you could actually speak to.”

Homecoming 2012 wrapped up with a photo booth and magic show on campus, a Student Research Symposium and the Homecoming football game between USF and Syracuse at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.