Leadership & Professional Development Lunches [BRIDGE Society]

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week the BRIDGE Society hosted two lunch events on leadership and professional development topics. These events, two of eleven lunches to be held this semester, are informal presentations with business professionals. A pizza lunch is available during the presentation and there is ample time for Q&A. Both BRIDGE Society members and those interested in leadership and professional development topics are welcome.

On Wednesday, John Celestand, Villanova alum ’99 and former Villanova Basketball Player, presented on the topic: “Diversifying Skills for Communication Professionals: Learn What Skills You Need to Develop to be Effective.” Mr. Celestand is currently a Studio Analyst for 76ers Post Game Live and Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia, owner of Celestand Consulting, and Co-Owner of All-State Basketball. Prior to pursuing a career as a sports analyst and sports writer, Mr. Celestand played professional basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers (selected the No. 30 overall pick of the 1999 NBA draft) and on some of the most famous European teams in Italy, France, Germany and the Ukraine.

Mr. Celestand’s presentation emphasized several aspects of effective communication skills: public speaking, research, writing, and networking skills. To highlight the importance of these skills, Mr. Celestand used examples from his own TV broadcasts, research notes, newspaper articles, and personal networking history. After his presentation, Mr. Celestand answered questions about working in sports as a broadcaster and writer, touching on his own decision to exit professional basketball and enter the sports industry. Amongst the many great tips that Mr. Celestand offered, he was very serious about undergraduates having business cards for networking. Arts and Sciences’ students can get official Villanova business cards printed for themselves. Here’s the form to place an order.

On Thursday, the BRIDGE Society welcomed Michael Chiappinelli, Vice President of the National Division of AXA Advisors, Financial Advisors, in Bala Cynwyd, PA. Mr. Chiappinelli spoke on the topic: “Learn How Liberal Arts & Sciences Skills Are Valued in the Business World.”

Mr. Chiappinelli discussed the skills necessary for Arts and Sciences’ students to find jobs in the business world. Focusing on the keys to being successful, Mr. Chiappinelli highlighted the various benefits of networking: finding out from those who are already successful what skills/traits/habits they possess and making connections to find potential jobs. On the topic of liberal arts majors in the business world, Mr. Chiappinelli didn’t believe that this should be viewed as a limitation, he said: “Don’t think of yourself as your major, but think of what you want out of life and what you want to do.”

If you missed these two presentations on leadership and professional development topics, check out the rest of the schedule for the semester. Pre-registration is required, as space is limited.

Also take a look at the other BRIDGE Society events planned for the fall. Mr. Celestand will be back on campus for the BRIDGE Society Sports Industry – Panel and Networking Event, Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 6:30pm-8:30pm, in Dougherty Hall West Lounge. The panel includes industry professionals from Sports Illustrated, The PGA, Sports News on Channel 11, 76ers Post Game Live, Eastern PA Youth Soccer, and SoccerDCL LLC.


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