Mathews Leadership Forum gives students opportunity to network

Networking is a topic students hear about from professors, advisors and just about everyone else they encounter, but it’s not every day they get the opportunity to do it. California Lutheran University is offering students of all majors an opportunity to network with leaders in their field at the Mathews Leadership Forum in the Lundring Events Center on Oct. 24 at 6 p.m.

This year the Community Leaders Association and UCLA Health present the Mathews Leadership Forum with the theme of ‘Is There a Job in My Future?’ featuring keynote speaker Michael Dolphin, chief of the Employment Development Department’s Workforce Services Division for Los Angeles and Ventura counties, according to the CLA website.

The event first originated from a seminar taught by Mark Mathews in the fall of 1970 and took place every year thereafter. The event stopped for some time during a transitional period, but it was brought back to campus last year with the help of John Short III, event chair and first vice president of Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services, and Christopher Kimball, president of CLU, who brought the idea to Mathews, according to the CLA website.

“I think this is a true, valuable leadership forum that was founded by one of our former presidents and the Community Leaders Association that has continued the tradition of bringing value to the students of California Lutheran University,” Short said. “It has allowed them the opportunity to interact with very successful, influential people within the county of Ventura to hopefully bring job opportunities upon graduation and allow them to greatness.”

With the downfall of the economy, students are afraid more than ever of not finding a job after graduation, which is why it is important to host an event like the Mathews Leadership Forum, said Robin Fielding, administrative assistant for University Relations.

“There will be a networking period where the students will be able to network the business and civic leaders,” Fielding said.  “It’s a great mentoring opportunity.”

John Tennaci, secretary of CLA and chemistry professor, said students should take advantage of the Mathews Leadership Forum because the networking opportunities they will be given will allow them to have a competitive edge against students graduating from big name schools.

“A lot of professionals would tell you that the details of whether you get an A or a B in a class that’s not what makes or breaks a career,” Tennaci said. “What gets you in the door for your first job and what allows you to be successful in your career are some of those skills from the classroom, but a key factor is can you network with people? Can you interact with people? Can you find ventures?”

Cindy Keitel, executive director of the CLA and coordinator of community relations, said the event is geared not only toward helping students find their purpose and their passion, but also connecting them with the people who can help them find a job in their field.

“What’s nice with the people that are coming is that they understand that role and they want to help and they are people that truly care,” Keitel said. “They know a lot of people and they can connect you and if they don’t know your field, they probably know somebody in your field setting.”

Registration for the event filled up promptly and those students who did not get a seat are recommended to keep a lookout for the event next year as it will occur annually during the fall.


Mayra Ruiz
Staff Writer
Published Oct. 23, 2013