Students learn the steps from campus to career at daylong professional development conference

Stetson Law students attended a daylong professional development conference on Jan. 19 on the Gulfport campus. The Campus to Career conference for students kicked off with an opening keynote address by Professor of Law Louis Virelli. Professor Virelli described his personal 15-year career path, from bioengineering student in college to law student, lawyer and then law professor.

Bemetra Simmons provided the closing keynote address at the Campus to Career event at Stetson.

Bemetra Simmons provided the closing keynote address at the Campus to Career event at Stetson.

“Finding your ideal job and getting it the first time are not the same thing,” Professor Virelli explained.

He encouraged the students in the audience to make intentional choices with an ending in mind. Through experience, Virelli said that it was the discovery of his love of teaching and dislike of teaching engineering that ultimately led him to law school.

“Spend time trying things out,” Virelli said. “Being wrong is informative. Being indifferent is not. Learn what to take off the list. Listen and talk to each other. Find your ceiling and don’t self-select yourself out of a job you want. Find out what you are able to achieve.”

Bemetra L. Simmons, senior private banker with Wells Fargo and co-founder of the Corporate Homie community that helps women and minorities achieve success in corporate America, provided the closing keynote address.

The conference included a broad range of breakout sessions on building confidence for difficult conversations, using effective time management, responding to job offers, dealing with self-doubt, respectfully disagreeing, making the most of summer law firm jobs, developing advocacy skills, recognizing diversity in attorney-client communications, using experiential education to transition to practice, transitioning from student to leader, and polishing writing.