Seattle and Portland Trek Info with Vicki 

This upcoming break between Fall and Spring semester, Career and Professional Development has two opportunities to continue career building outside of the classroom. Like years prior, CPD is hosting both a Seattle and Portland Trek, however this time these events are virtual, increasing access for any student! To talk more about what Treks offer students, we spoke with Vicki Hucke, Manager of Employer Engagement in the CPD office. 

What is a Trek with Career and Professional Development? 

Vicki: A trek is an opportunity for students to connect with employers. Students can see these employers out in the world, get an inside look at organizations, take a tour of the facilities, hear from team members and see various positions in a company. The Seattle and Portland trek are unique because they feature a career fair. 

In a normal year, the Portland and Seattle Treks consist of a two-hour career fair where students meet with employer. Then, they select one of eight potential excursions where they get to visit one or two companies and receive a tour along with meeting potential employers. The students then come back and take part in a networking social with alums in the area along with the employers.  

While these events are open to any Gonzaga student, is there a certain grade or major you would recommend this to? Or do you think anyone can get something out of this event?  

Vicki: This virtual event is intended for all students, whether that is a Freshman Communications major or a Senior Biology major. It is never too early to start building and meeting contacts that can help you with a job. There is a wide range of employers from various industries, and as registration is still ongoing, the list of employers is increasing. There are also a variety of alums from the area that will be attending the networking social, and so even if a company doesn’t seem to represent an industry you are interested in, there will be somebody there for you to connect with.  

Do you have to be from Seattle or Portland to take part? How will this event help me even if I’m not from these areas? 

Vicki: This event is open to all students, no matter their geographic location. Anybody who’s interested should attend. In typical years, it is planned the week before the end of break, so students typically will stop at these treks on their way back to Gonzaga. It’s common, especially at the Seattle and Portland Treks, for those not from the area to come. Now that it’s virtual it’s even more accessible. Everyone should take advantage, and no matter where you are from, it serves as a wonderful experience to interact with different employers and network, and to see whose hiring and what’s going on.  

What employers will be there? 

Vicki: In the past, participants have included: 

Seattle: Alaska Air, Amazon, SAP Concur, Chinook Capital, CostcoBoeingPACCARStarbucksTableau, and more. 

 Portland: Nike, Keen, Portland Trailblazers, Intel, Adidas, Woodmere brewing, Mentor Graphics, Hp, and more. 

Currently, registration is open for employers and the amount attending is growing. Students are encouraged to regularly check back and see as new employers are added to this list. As you can see, there is a wide variety of companies at these events. Anyone, no matter their majors or interests, will be able to find a company they can connect with.  

What can students expect the schedule to look like now that these events are virtual? 

Vicki: To transition virtually, we wanted to still supply the same number of opportunities while keeping it manageable for students as it is digital. We have a two-hour career fair and expo. All our key employers will take part, and then following that will be a networking social with representatives from these companies along with alum from the area. 

The career fair and expo, occurring from 2-4 pm, is available for registration on ZagsIgnite. On the day of the event, Students can log into ZagsIgnite. They can then see the employers available for each event and join a queue to chat with employers one-on one. Once the employer is ready to talk to you, you get a link to their chat, and then individually chat with them and meet one on one. Later, during the Networking social, there will be a welcome message from Seattle alums, followed by a Keynote Speaker who will be a Gonzaga alum. Students will then be placed into breakout chats, which will consist of a local employer, alums, and then 3 or four students.  

What can students do to prepare for these events? 

Vicki: I would recommend checking out employers that are coming and do some research of questions that you could potentially ask them. It is also useful to prepare an elevator pitch, which is a quick synopsis of background and experience. Include who you are, what you’re studying, and what you want to do in the future. Students should also dress professionally, as if you were meeting an employer.  

Another thing that employers tend to look for is a current resume. If you need help with this, I recommend booking an appointment with our career center. This is super beneficial for students of all majors and is extremely easy to set up as well. All students need to do is visit ZagsIgnite, go to appointments, and schedule one that will work with their schedule. Everyone and Career and Professional Development is here to help you succeed! 

What else would you like students to know about these Treks? 

Vicki: I would overall recommend students to attend and really take advantage of this unique opportunity to be able to meet so many potential employers virtually. This event is completely free, and one of the great benefits of coming to GU is our large and supportive alumni network that students will have access to at this event.  

If you have any more questions about these events, feel free to contact Vicki Hucke at hucke@gonzaga.edu.  

Career & Professional Development has various resources to help you prepare for attending these events. Check out more blog posts along with our social medias listed below.  

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