Virtual networking event a success

Published on December 1, 2021

The University of Iowa College of Public Health recently hosted a virtual networking event that connected public health students to opportunities in the workforce and allowed employers to meet students and understand the skills they can offer as potential future employees. About 100 students interacted with 18 employers and 4 University of Iowa alumni during the event.

“We wanted this networking event to be beneficial for all parties participating,” says Sophie Switzer, assistant director of engaged learning and career preparation for the college. “There’s been a significant squeeze on available public health personnel during the pandemic and employers don’t always have the time or resources to connect with a large pool of qualified job candidates.”

The event was organized and hosted by the College of Public Health’s Office of Career Services and Institute for Public Health Practice, with assistance from the University of Iowa Pomerantz Career Center.

Public health student Sydney Prochaska participated in the session and found it to be very beneficial. “It helped me practice my networking and interviewing skills and allowed me to discover a variety of internship opportunities this summer,” she says.

Prochaska says she connected with potential employers and appreciated the opportunity to share her resume directly with them rather than through email or a company website. “It was nice to chat with these employers in a more laid back environment than an interview to ask about their values, work environment, and future opportunities,” she adds.

Switzer says she’d like to host this event at least once a year. Given the overwhelming participation and positive feedback she received for the initial event, she also hopes to expand the number of employers available to a wider number of public health specialties. 

The college’s Public Health Career Services office was launched in the spring of 2021 to offer students resources and guidance in identifying and pursuing a career path. The office hosts monthly professional development workshops and offers one-on-one advising appointments. To find out more about career services and professional development opportunities at the UI College of Public Health, visit