Developing Connections provides a ‘real-life’ experience to ‘see’ CFLE content areas in action with participating agencies. Held each fall and spring semester, this professional-networking event fosters connections between HDFS students, alumni, and professionals through poster presentations and on-site internship interviews. All HDFS majors are encouraged to attend each semester.
As an interactive professional development opportunity, students hear a keynote address by an experienced professional, view poster presentations by local family-serving agencies, meet one-on-one with professionals and current HDFS interns, interview on-site for internships, and network with peers, faculty, alumni and professionals.
To foster networking among peers, current HDFS interns present a poster at the Developing Connections event. The poster includes information about their internship placement site – the organization’s mission, provision of services, location, contact information, and specific duties or activities performed by the intern. Interns look forward to the opportunity to highlight their experiences in the field and to share insight with HDFS students who are about to embark on their internship experience.
Developing Connections is integrated with the HDFS curriculum. Students enrolled in HDFS 3900: Professional Development in HDFS are required to attend and participate in on-site interviews. Taken the semester immediately before the internship, HDFS 3900 includes self-assessment activities to match goals with the activities and mission of potential internship sites. Students create and polish a resume in order to take advantage of opportunities to meet and interview with potential internship sites. Other experiences in the course prepare students to attain an internship placement and to work in an internship setting.
Students consistently indicate the significance of Developing Connections. The event allows them to explore opportunities as emerging HDFS professionals. Students are more confident after an on-site interview and networking with professionals.