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Approximately 750 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Business students had the opportunity to meet and mingle with 200 area business professionals at the college’s sixth annual Networking Night on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Connecting students with area business professionals was the goal.

And both parties took full advantage of the opportunity set inside the Oshkosh Convention Center.

Students filed into the downtown venue, dressed in professional business attire prepared with stacks of business cards to share with the business professionals from more than 41 different organizations.

For students who were already admitted to the College of Business, this event was mandatory. For others, it was a chance to network and connect during an uncertain job market.

“The UW Oshkosh College of Business sets itself apart by preparing our students both academically and professionally. Professional networking is an essential skill for a successful business professional,” said Jessie Pondell, professional development director.

The annual Networking Night provides students the chance to practice and improve their networking skills, interact with business professionals and to set their own personal networking goals.

“The developmental aspect is the main focus, but because our students are networking with business professionals, another outcome for many students is the connections for future internships or full-time employment opportunities,” Pondell said.

Students were only required to be there for certain portions of the four-hour event. Arrival times varied based on major and previous attendance at Networking Night. This allowed time to meet with the Networking Night newcomers separately.

“By meeting with all first-time attendees alone, we were able to focus on the basic nuts and bolts of networking,” Pondell said.

This year’s platinum sponsor was Northwester Mutual Financial Network-The Holter Group. Feedback from students, staff, business professionals and faculty will help plan the next networking night in fall 2012.

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