GrowthCon is a one-day, virtual conference to help equip students, recent graduates and alumni with tools to succeed in the workplace after graduation. The conference features a variety of speakers, panels and networking opportunities to help attendees identify and strategize their path to personal and professional growth. When you sign up to participate, you will be able to choose specific sessions related to health and wellness, financial literacy and professional networking. 

10:00am: Welcome & Opening Remarks

10:15am: Keynote Speaker - Brandon Launerts '16

10:45am: Break

11:00am: Professional Development Breakout Sessions (choose one to attend live):

Networking for Beginners
Speakers: Brian Goldmeier, Saif Ishoof, Esq.
We get it — networking isn't at the top of everyone's to-do list when it comes to investing in yourself. It can be time consuming, downright awkward on occasion, and — depending on your personality — incredibly draining. However, joining several professional associations and attending every networking event that comes your way isn’t the secret formula for becoming a successful networker. During this session we’ll explore the value of building a strong professional network, discuss techniques to alleviate the anxiety often associated with networking, and share strategies for using networking to give yourself a competitive edge throughout every stage of your career — not just when you’re job searching.

How to Make Your Social Media Work For You
Speakers: Paola Iuspa-Abbott '00, Courtney Moberley
Whether we’d like to admit it or not, social media is a key player in the job search process on the employer side. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow employers to get a glimpse of you outside of a résumé, cover letter, or interview, even before they meet you. Is your social media portraying an image you’d like your employers to see? Are you leveraging the features available on those free platforms to advance your long-term goals? During this session, we’ll discuss how you can leverage your social online presence to advance your individual career goals as well as branding strategies that will help you stand out among the crowd.

The Value of Finding a Mentor
Speakers: Kenasha Paul '10, Sara DuCuennois 
Mentoring partnerships can be mutually beneficial and rewarding – on both professional and personal levels. During this session, we’ll discuss how mentoring adds different value than other types of networking opportunities, and how these relationships can help you expand your knowledge and skills, gain valuable advice, help you avoid unnecessary mistakes and, ultimately, catapult your career.

11:45am: Break

12:00pm: Financial Literacy Breakout Sessions (choose one to attend live)

Debt as a Double-Edged Sword
Speaker: Horacio Aguirre 
Young adults and recent grads face a number of challenges early in their career, one of which is usually centered on financial concerns. This segment of the population is known to often take on debt to finance future endeavors without fully understanding the pros and cons of the different types of financing available. During this session, we’ll learn how debt can facilitate achievement, but also lead to emotional or financial strain. We’ll examine different types of debt, strategies to prioritize payment of negative debt and how to overcome indebtedness altogether, how to manage student loan payments, and the overall effects your credit score can have on your long-term financial future.

Securing the Bag
Speaker: Pablo Martinez '11 
Budgets don’t have to be complicated to be effective. A simple budget can go a long way towards helping you get your finances in order. Whether you are just learning to create a budget for the first time or need a refresher as you level up in your career, we’ll be covering the basics of organizing your income to maintain a healthy budget. During this session we will guide you through the process of assessing your income and obligations (i.e., fixed/varied monthly expenses, debt, and loans) in order to identify whether your current budget meets the recommended guidelines that will help you achieve your financial goals.

Plan for the Future: Balancing YOLO and Saving for a Rainy Day
Speaker: Francisco Mantilla '07
The reality is that most young adults starting their careers do not have the ability to invest or save for a rainy day. However, once they are ready to begin investing and saving for retirement they have no idea who to turn to or where to start. There is an abundance of information and opinions on what to do with your money and where it would best serve you depending on your goals. During this session, we will have a financial services professional help you understand the most common vehicles for long-term investments (IRAs, 401ks, etc.) and the tools you need to succeed in your financial future. 

12:45pm: Lunch Break

1:15pm: Wellness Breakout Sessions (choose one to attend live)

Emotional Intelligence: What It Is and How To Use It
Speaker: Dr. Shanequa Fleming
Learn how embracing the nuances of understanding, using and managing emotional intelligence can impact your personal and professional life. During this session, we’ll take a deep dive into the skills involved in emotional intelligence (self-awareness, emotional control, motivation, empathy and relationship skills) as a gateway to better communication, academic success and career advancement.

What Now? Life After Graduation
Speaker: Nance Guilmartin
Earning your degree is a major accomplishment, but many graduates often struggle with finding their identity outside of being a student once their time in the classroom comes to a close. Life after graduation has an endless possibility of paths – for some it means more education, for others it means starting your career, or it could even involve relocating to a new city or back home. During this session, we will explore the different emotions surrounding this new stage of life, and we will learn new skills that will help you navigate this critical transition.

Stress Management: Identifying and Managing the Problem
Speaker: Zoe Torres
At first glance, it may seem like there’s nothing you can do about stress and the manner in which it has the ability to affect your personal and professional life. The bills won’t stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day, and your work and family responsibilities will always be demanding. However, if you take a step back, you will realize that you have a lot more control than you might think. During this session, we will focus on identifying common stressors and help you develop skills to help manage and reduce stressors in order to live a happier, healthier and more productive life.

2:00pm: Closing Remarks

2:15pm: Conference Concludes

Develop Your Professional Identity with GROWTH

  • Panels and Speakers

    Network and connect with fellow Panthers and FIU alumni.

  • Virtual Conference

    100% free virtual conference – reserve your spot today!

Meet Our GROWTH Speakers

Click each for full bio 

Conference Program