Career Bytes Conference


­Prepare – Connect – Succeed

This is the theme of the second annual Career Bytes Conference. The Career Development Center understands that students are challenged with connecting their academic experiences to the demands of the competitive global workplace. It can be overwhelming and time consuming. This Career Conference provides an opportunity for students to gain the required “know how” in a concentrated, customizable forum in one afternoon. Career Bytes will offer tracks focused on understanding what employers are looking for when hiring, office etiquette, internship/job search strategies, and cultivating a professional network with muscle. A Networking & Buffet Lunch will be provided for students, alumni and employers attending.


Keynote-iconKeynote Speaker

Rikeesha Phelon developed her strategic skill set through senior communications positions in nonprofit management, governmental leadership and political campaigns.

Setting the foundation for her career, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political studies and her master’s in communications from the University of Illinois at Springfield. During that time she worked as a graduate assistant at Illinois Issues magazine.

Phelon sharpened her messaging expertise as a nonprofit media director, a public information officer for the Illinois Department of Human Services, and later as senior communications manager for all Illinois agency media relations.

In 2009, she became the press secretary to President John Cullerton as the nation turned its attention to the Illinois Senate for the impeachment trial of Rod Blagojevich. Since that time, she has distinguished herself as a trusted adviser to the Senate President and some of Illinois ‘ most powerful leaders advancing solutions to critical issues.

During the 2014 Illinois Governor’s race, Phelon served as a campaign spokesperson and consultant for the Democratic Governors Association. She later returned to the Senate to round out seven years as a press secretary.

Phelon now partners with issue coalitions, corporations and nonprofits to execute strategies that engage audiences, inspire action and create change.



Students (In-Person & Online):  Register for the Conference (2 Options)

  1. Go to CareerConnect and click on the “Events” tab*Online Students MUST register on CareerConnect –  Select the Online Participant Option 
  2. Go to the Career Development Center page on UIS Connection and select “RSVP to Event.”

If you need any assistance registering feel free to reach out to the Career Development Center at (217) 206-6508 or


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Alumni, Employer, Faculty & Staff Guests: 

The Career Development Center welcomes your participation in the Networking and Buffet Lunch at the Career Bytes Conference.

Please RSVP here to attend the Buffet Lunch & Networking Event

calendar Conference Schedule – Lower level Public Affair Center (PAC)
10:45-11:00 AM          Sign In/Receive Conference Packet – (Studio Theatre Lobby)


11:00-11:45 AM          Welcome/Keynote Address – Rikeesha Phelon, UIS Alum – (Studio Theatre)


12:00-1:00 PM            Buffet lunch and Networking (PAC Conference Room C/D)


1:05–1:50 PM             Breakout Session 1: Select from 2 options

1.  #Hired: Understanding Employer Expectations in the Hiring Process (PAC G)

  • Hear from a panel of local professionals who will be able to provide insight into the hiring process
  • Learn how can stand out as an applicant when applying and being considered for internship or job opportunities

2. Resumes That Make a Difference (PAC H)

  • Is your resume good enough to get that internship or job within six seconds? Recruiters generally spend six seconds reviewing a resume to make a first fit/no fit decision.
  • Learn how to create and market the value of you and customize the What + How + Why of your skills.


2:00–2:45 PM            Breakout Session 2: Select from 2 options

1. Start Strong to Stay On: Strategies to Succeed from Day 1 on Your Job/Internship (PAC G)

  • Learn from a panel of local professionals who will share strategies and behaviors that can help you be successful from the start of your internship or job
  • Gain a better understanding about how your performance will be evaluated once you begin a new career opportunity

2.  Entrepreneurship & Intrapreneurship – Innovate, Create, & Succeed (PAC H)

  • Learn about Innovate Springfield (iSPI), a local business incubator and hub for social innovation. Meet the staff and hear all about iSPI including programming and day-to-day operations and how they apply the skills acquired in their current roles
  • Gain insight into how entrepreneurial concepts apply to your career whether you are considering starting your own business or being an “intrapreneur” within an existing organization


2:55-3:15 PM            Career Bits – Round Table Mini Sessions (10 minutes) – (PAC C/D)
Roundtable Topics include:

  • LinkedIn, Interviewing, Networking, Social Innovation, Translating Skills from Mentoring, Extracurricular Activities, & Research.


3:15–3:30 PM           Cookies, Conversation, and Conference Wrap-Up – Students will receive a portfolio upon completing evaluation. (PAC C/D)