Tuesdays with Toppel

Once a month, the Toppel Career Center offers alumni, and occasionally seniors, the opportunity to do some career networking in a unique setting — while  enjoying their favorite cocktail and a nice meal.

The Tuesdays With Toppel program began in 2009 after the economic downturn hit the country.

“We got the idea from an event that took place in New York City and LA [called the Pink Slip Party] because of the dot-com bust in the early 2000s,” said Edward Cruz, assistant director of graduate student and alumni programs at Toppel. “So we were inspired by that idea and made it work for our students and alumni.”

The cost of the event is $10 per person and it is usually hosted at restaurants in Coral Gables and Miami.

“It’s a really unique, creative thing UM has done and I have not seen anything like it,” said FBI Recruiter Kathleen Cymbaluk, who has participated in the event. “It is a fun, carefree environment, which gives the recruiter a unique way to interact that you don’t really get in the other universities.”

About 15 different companies are represented each month at Tuesdays with Toppel.

“The first Tuesdays with Toppel was held at Red Koi Thai & Sushi Lounge [on Miracle Mile], and we had over 50 people attend including alumni and employers,” Cruz said

The event is typically aimed at alumni, but a month before graduation an email invitation is sent out for all the graduating seniors to attend.

“We do invite students the months leading up to graduation, so students that were graduating in fall were invited to attend the November event and students that are graduating in the spring will be invited to the April event,” said Veronica Soto, assistant director of career events at Toppel.

Even after students graduate, Toppel still offers advising and free entrance to all the career fairs on campus.

“Alumni are always invited to any of our career-oriented programs that we have and advising is free for alumni after one year and after that there is a small fee,” Soto said. “We are still here for our alumni after they graduate.”

The next Tuesdays with Toppel will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. this Tuesday, Feb. 22, at the Boiler House,  97 SW Eighth St. To attend, alumni can RSVP through your CaneZone account at www.hireacane.com. For more information about the program, stop by Toppel in the Whitten University Center.

Elizabeth Nickerson may be contacted at enickerson@themiamihurricane.com.