Professionals from different business sectors in Alberta shared important information on how to have a successful career at Red Deer College’s Backpacks to Briefcases on Thursday. Robin Grant/Red Deer Express

Red Deer College hosts Backpacks to Briefcases

Day-long event teaches professionalism and valuable life lessons to students

Red Deer College students learned valuable life lessons at a professional development conference called Backpacks to Briefcases Thursday.

The annual event, organized by RDC’s Donald School of Business, aims to make students well-rounded when they enter the workforce, said Trevor Thomas, associate dean at the Donald School of Business.

“We’ve changed the philosophy of, ‘Your career starts when you enter here’, not when you leave,” he said.

At the day-long event, professionals from businesses across sectors shared their expertise and information on how to get hired, professionalism, dressing for success in the workforce, entrepreneurship, experiential learning and community engagement.

Tod Hirsch, ATB Financial’s chief economist, was the keynote speaker this year. He shared inspiring stories and information from his more than 20 years at various organizations in Alberta.

During the presentation, Hirsch talked about the importance of adapting to a modern workplace and useful traits to have that can help young professionals thrive at difficult times in their lives and careers.

Jenna Thorton is a human resources student at RDC. She attended the conference last year and said it taught practical skills for when she enters the workforce.

“It’s a good opportunity to network and get to know people and learn something new,” she said. “It makes a huge impact.”

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