A summer’s day at the University of Miami came complete with Sebastian the Ibis doing the whip and nae nae, as the Toppel Career Center held Toppelfest on Friday.
A part of Orientation week, “Toppelfest” topped off 20 years of service for the center with a block party Friday. The event brought food, photos and a dancing Sebastian to the frenzy welcoming incoming students.
“Everyone seems to be enjoying it,” said Ben O’Brien, a junior and orientation fellow. “The shirts are really nice this year…. I remember my freshman year, and there wasn’t this much music, and it seems like a more exciting event this year.”
Students had a chance to tour the Toppel Career Center itself, going in groups and collecting goodies as they ventured. Over 1,000 students, both incoming and current, made quite a crowd at the event according to Carly Smith, Toppel’s assistant director for career education.
Freshman Caitlin Calvo learned and gained new things while at Toppelfest.
“I’m meeting a lot of new people, getting a T-shirt and also learning about all the opportunities and events Toppel hosts throughout the year,” she said.
Though the temperature felt 20 degrees too hot, Samantha Haimes, Toppel’s associate director for career readiness, thought the turnout was spectacular. She believes the crowd represents Toppel’s growth over the years.
“It’s such an exciting time for us because in 20 years, we’ve come such a long way,” Haimes said. “We’ve really evolved as a career center, really evolved as an institution, and we’re so excited to celebrate with all of our students and the rest of the UM community.”
According to Haimes, the rest of the semester promises programs that will align with students’ demands.
“We always try to plan events that students say that they want, so we’ve really heard our students throughout the past year,” she said. “We’ve listened to what companies they’re interested in and really done a lot to put on programs and events for them related to that.”
The party, along with rest of Orientation week, made freshman Eric Calero enthusiastic about his next four years at the university.
“I really feel myself getting into the UM community,” Calero said. “I feel myself going through with ease. I really think all the organizations helping us makes it that much better and that much more fun. I feel like the next four years are going to be fun.”