MindSumo, LinkedIn speakers to discuss career strategies, tactics for students on Oct. 15

Submitted by Karen Harman on Wednesday Oct 08, 2014.

The NC State American Marketing Association (AMA) chapter, based in Poole College, is again partnering with MindSumo to offer NC State students opportunities for both internships and business challenges that can help them gain experience solving real world problems and showcase their skills.

As part of that partnership, the chapter is hosting a professional development event on October 15 that brings Keaton Swett, co-founder of MindSumo, and Rob Humphrey, senior manager at LinkedIn, together for a discussion of strategies and tactics that can help students get the experience and personal branding needed to proficiently showcase their skills and accomplishments.

This NC State AMA Professional Development event is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in 3400 Nelson Hall, the Nelson Hall auditorium. It is open to all NC State students. There is no charge but registration is required. The event will conclude with networking with professionals and refreshments.

LinkedIn is an online networking tool that helps individuals discover professional connections, build their professional identity and stay in touch with colleagues and classmates.

MindSumo is an online community that provides career-related challenges through which students in various fields of study – business, engineering, computer science, food science, math and sciences, and humanities and the arts – can test their knowledge and have a chance at cash prizes.

MindSumo’s company partners page displays the number of challenges each company currently has open for students to consider, as well as job openings at sites throughout the U.S. and worldwide.

Challenges are ‘highly recommended’ by Poole participant

Last year, Wing Beaver, now a Poole College junior majoring in business administration with a concentration in supply chain management, submitted a solution for an inventory problem that a seasonal food product supplier was experiencing, and won $150 for her response.

When asked why she decided to participate in the competition, Beaver, who had worked for a few years as a purchasing agent, said, “My eyes literally lit up when I saw this topic among the others. I love supply chain management and it (optimizing inventory) is one of the big areas that companies are always struggling with.”

In developing her solution for the problem, Beaver said she drew on knowledge gained in her operations management course and her prior work experience. “I highly recommend that students participate in different (MindSumo) challenges, regardless of whether it is related to their major or not,” she said. “It will help them to reinforce what they learned from class when they try to compose the proposal. It also requires them to rethink whether they really understand and are able to apply the knowledge in the real business case.

“When the challenge is something not related to your major, it is even better to try since it is easier to think outside the box. We aren't bound by what we know. Also, if you submit a proposal to them, the company will review both your submission and your profile, and may contact you if they are interested,” she said.

Learn from others on discussion forum

For each challenge, MindSumo has a designated discussion forum, Beaver added. “I highly suggest for students to check that out; you can learn from other students as they may come from different background and they see things differently. I found some of their questions are quite interesting.

Beaver encourages students to visit the MindSumo website [https://www.mindsumo.com/student_about ] and register to receive notices about competitions. There is no cost to register, she said, adding, “This is great experience and excellent discussion points for job interviews. There will be employers looking at these competitions to find qualified candidates.”

Beaver participated in two additional challenges. One was General Mills’ challenge for creating a new product. Beaver’s proposal for a new product - including product details and suggestions for differentiating General Mills from its competitors - was selected as a top five idea. She placed in the top five for another food company challenge about snack foods.


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