Using connections to get a head start on jobs and careers

Guest+Speaker+Greg+Van+Ness+tell+his+story+to+Mohsin+Saleem%2C+Erick+Ortiz%2C+Andrey+and+Hyemi+Seas+of+SeasMedia+and+audience+in+Simi+Valley.+Photo+credit%3A+Mary+Altshuller
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Using connections to get a head start on jobs and careers

Guest Speaker Greg Van Ness tell his story to Mohsin Saleem, Erick Ortiz, Andrey and Hyemi Seas of SeasMedia and audience in Simi Valley. Photo credit: Mary Altshuller

Guest Speaker Greg Van Ness tell his story to Mohsin Saleem, Erick Ortiz, Andrey and Hyemi Seas of SeasMedia and audience in Simi Valley. Photo credit: Mary Altshuller

Guest Speaker Greg Van Ness tell his story to Mohsin Saleem, Erick Ortiz, Andrey and Hyemi Seas of SeasMedia and audience in Simi Valley. Photo credit: Mary Altshuller

Guest Speaker Greg Van Ness tell his story to Mohsin Saleem, Erick Ortiz, Andrey and Hyemi Seas of SeasMedia and audience in Simi Valley. Photo credit: Mary Altshuller

By Mary Altshuller

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Moorpark College’s Business Students Association opened their twelfth annual Business Expo in EATM Lecture Hall 208.

President and vice president of the Business Students Association Mohsin Salem, a 19-year-old double business major, and Erick Ortiz, a 21-year-old economics and accounting major provided a warm welcome to the event.

The theme of this year’s Expo was “Networking: Using Connections to Get Ahead”. There were two invited guest speakers.

First was Greg Van Ness, CEO of Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, LLC, of Ventura. The other speaker was Andrey Seas, CEO of SeasMedia of Simi Valley.

“The benefits of coming to Moorpark College today was an opportunity I enjoyed to broaden the students’ perspectives of people,” said Van Ness. “If it helps them then I’m happy to provide them with the advice.”

Van Ness stressed the importance of networking in today’s world as “people to people”. He told everyone that he worked his way up first through the advertising and marketing industries, then into insurance services simply by introducing himself to one man who then introduced him to others. Each job he held was because of a connection he had made somewhere along the line.

“It’s also important to become familiar with someone’s personal brand. Find out about an industry you might be interested in,” said Van Ness.

Giving an example, he invited a young man to stand with him and demonstrated how to introduce yourself at such an event.

“Walk up to the person, reach out your hand, shake theirs and say, ‘Hi, I don’t believe we’ve met before. What’s your name?’” said Van Ness.

The introductions go from there when you start asking questions and learn what sort of business the other person is in. He then opened the floor for audience participation and let everyone ask questions which was very interactive.

After a twenty-minute intermission, Saleem welcomed Andrey Seas to the floor. Seas introduced himself as having gone to Glendale Community College, then to California State University Northridge where he attended law school.

He shared with the audience that you can’t just go home and Google in your underwear to find people, and mentioned that there are three myths to networking.

“The important things in my life are God, family, and networking,” said Seas. “Try to find like-minded people at networking events such as being around smart people.”

Business Professor Josepha Baca said, “This was really good. We got a different viewpoint on the two men’s perspective. They both used real-life experiences to share with us. There was a nice balance of both speakers.”

Seas’ benefit of coming to Moorpark College’s Business Expo is giving value and contributing.

Student attendees felt a great impact left on them from the speakers.

“Definitely we got a lot of personal background,” said Julio Chavez, 20, a Business major.

Professor Ruth Bennington, Business Administration said, “Today’s talks were absolutely superb and they recounted their personal experiences, how to network, using social media and to use it well.”

For Saleem it was a great learning experience for him.

“It’s so fulfilling and making a difference that keeps me going. It gives me momentum,” said Saleem. “It was beneficial for me, for leadership, getting to have different roles with event planning, organizing, and a learning experience.”

There were approximately 250 attendees.

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