Inspiration, fear and risks were key topics among speakers at the Pi Sigma Epsilon ‘Empower’ conference.

The two-hour long event took place in the Bronco Student Center, Ursa Minor last Thursday.

The event hosted six speakers that lectured on the realities of the workforce as well their personal failures and successes.

Julia Pasternack, who works for Amazon, opened the event by discussing the importance of networking in person and online using LinkedIn.

Pastnerack also gave the audience advice on how to act appropriately during an interview and emphasized the importance of smiling.  

“Interviewing is so much about personal relationships,” Pasternack said. “It’s an emotional decision on both sides of the conversation.”

The panel spoke to students about previous failures, successes and experiences in the workplace. (Ana Perez | The Poly Post)

Two of the six speakers were current Cal Poly Pomona students.

Christine Lac and Peter Nguyen spoke about their experiences as students and members of the workforce.

Nguyen spoke about his failures and how he changed his major multiple times throughout his six years as a student before finally settling down as a computer information systems student.

Lac emphasized the importance of having mentors to help guide you.

Christina Cooper from Cooper Consulting and a professor at Cal State Fullerton hoped to inspire students a different way.

People often define themselves through their occupation rather than the reasons why they chose it.

Cooper wanted students to change their perspective to identify why they do something rather than just what they are doing.

Cooper drew students from Cal State Fullerton to the highly anticipated event.

“The event will hopefully become an annual one and we want to bring in more speakers next year to draw more students,” said Johnathan McGowan, the event’s project manager.

Fourth-year international business and marketing double major student and Vice President of Marketing Development Melina Jahangirian, helped put the event together and was excited with the turnout.

“The speakers were all very confident and they shared times of when they weren’t,” Jahangirian said. “Life begins outside of your comfort zone.”

According to Jahangirian, the event was meant to inspire students.

“No matter how many times you fail, you will succeed if you keep trying,” Jahangirian said.

The event came just in time to inspire students during the final stretch of the quarter.

The evening concluded with a panel discussion with the six speakers with both preset questions and questions from the audience.

Professor L. Lin Ong was among the speakers who told students to give themselves a challenge.

“Give yourself a challenge you’d be really bad at,” Ong said.

Challenging yourself with something you won’t be great at reminds you that you’re still great at other things and reminds you that it’s okay to fail.

The main advice the speakers gave graduating seniors was to travel before it’s too late and to challenge yourself.

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