CCIT council sees students succeed


CCIT students often joke that they  get the same two questions every time they reveal their program of study. The first question is: “What is CCIT, anyway?” After trying to answer that one, they have to reply to the inevitable “So what can you do with that?”
Last Wednesday, the CCIT Council arranged a networking night with panelists from across industries to inspire and advise students. A group of about 30 students in CCIT’s digital enterprise management specialist, visual culture and communication specialist and the more flexible CCIT major program gathered at the Faculty Club to learn of their future options.
The panel represented professionals from a wide range of CCIT-related specialties, which reflected the diversity of the CCIT student community. It included Chrissy Newton, a public relations entrepreneur; Darin Bristow, senior technical producer at Corus Entertainment; Donna Papacosta, CEO of Trafalgar Communica-tions and podcaster; Michael Willems, a self-employed photographer; and Conrad Muan, a recent CCIT grad and self-described “level 30 Internet geek” and “code monkey” for Amalgam Designs.
The panelists shared stories of their career search and development experience—unexpected turns, tough lessons, big rewards and persistence. During the discussion, all panelists reinforced several key ideas, such as creativity, personal branding, etiquette and pushing yourself beyond one’s comfort zone to get the most out of networking. Willems emphasized the importance of doing “what really makes you happy over what will pay the bills.” Muan advised students to practice what they learn in their social media and communication classes, and to use tools like Twitter for networking purposes.
After the formal speaking period, panelists sat down with students, engaging in more personal discussions, swapping business cards and getting to know each other.
“What surprised me the most was how prepared students were when asking the panelists questions. I heard many of the conversations at their tables and I’m extremely happy with the discussions they had throughout the night,” said Brendan Shaw, the CCIT Council’s academic events director.