Written by Tiane Davis | Photo by Caroline Palmer
The Department of Communication and College of Business Administration worked together to host 21 different businesses Tuesday, Oct. 19, from 1-3 p.m. at the IMC Expo in Cone Chapel.
Approximately 107 students attended. Students in six different areas of study were invited to the event: integrated marketing communication, sales, marketing, advertising, graphic design and public relations.
Assistant professor of communication Lori Sloan was in charge of planning, and she said the goal was to encourage students to network and get more excited about potential options for careers and internships.
“I didn’t have any students lined up to help work it or anything,” Sloan said. “I wanted to put this expo on for the students so that they could connect with businesses.”
Sloan said she worked closely with Brian Harrington, director of the Center of Professional Excellence, and Elizabeth Rush, the administrative assistant for the Center for Professional Excellence. The group had been planning for the event since the start of the summer, calling businesses and ordering tables for each of them.
Sloan said Rush helped with creating invitations to send to businesses, designing posters and working with the businesses to set up displays for their tables. Rush graduated from Harding in December 2020 with a degree in advertising, and she said she attended the first IMC expo as a student in 2017.
“It’s a little surreal,” Rush said. “Just knowing that I came from the Communications Department and getting to help other students get connected like I did.”
Rush said it was a little different this year than other years, since some businesses expected to connect with students virtually like they had during the pandemic. Aside from the in-person expo, she said, they plan on doing individual info sessions with those businesses later in the year.
Officers of the Integrated Marketing Communication Organization (IMCO) ate brunch with the business representatives earlier that day. It gave them a chance to talk to the business owners before other students arrived at the start of the expo.
Junior Jayne Gilbert, one of the vice presidents of branding for IMCO, said the officers and students did not have a major role in preparing the event, but that it was very helpful for her as a junior searching for internships to be able to talk with so many businesses. She said she was very grateful to Sloan for putting in so much work.
“It is honestly really cool that she has taken all the time to do this, because we all appreciate it, I know,” Gilbert said.