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Paving the Way: The 2024 Black Career Conference

About the event

With the upcoming fifth annual Black Career Conference, anticipation is building once again for what promises to be an enriching experience. The Black Career Conference stands as Rotman Commerce’s largest career conference, welcoming Black students from diverse academic backgrounds, levels of study, and institutions. This collaborative effort, led by the Black Rotman Commerce student group and Rotman Commerce, plays an important role in fostering an inclusive environment for students.

Networking is an important part of the annual conference

Two days of connections and opportunities

The conference unfolds over two days, each day offering a unique focus. Day one centres around the annual pitch competition, which provides a platform for early-stage entrepreneurs. Husni Arwo, the Conference Lead for this year’s Black Career Conference, shares why this is important:

“The Black community possesses a wealth of great ideas, yet faces a lack of finances to execute them. The Pitch Competition enables Black entrepreneurs and students to hone in on their entrepreneurial spirit”.

Husni Arwo, BCom ’25 and Executive Conference Lead, Black Rotman Commerce

Beyond entrepreneurial insights, day one equips Black students with essential skills, such as creativity and problem solving, offering a versatile toolkit for success in various career paths.

On day two, the spotlight shifts to the Career Conference “where individuals within the Black community striving for innovation and personal development can connect and foster growth through synergy”. The conference will cover various industries, offering targeted opportunities for attendees following specific career paths as well as those exploring career planning. Additionally, professional development workshops will assist attendees in skills-building. As a testament to the conference’s impact, several individuals have secured internships as a direct result of their participation.

How to make the most of the conference

In preparation for the conference, it is recommended to thoroughly research the panel topics and panelists in advance. Attendees are encouraged to come prepared with insightful questions, as there will be an open networking session providing students with the opportunity to connect with corporate sponsors, Black Founders Network employers, panelists, and fellow attendees alike. Furthermore, attendees are encouraged to submit their resumes when they register as they will be shared with sponsors. Through the combination of effective communication and strategic networking, participants can significantly enhance their chances of success in both the pitch competition and the career conference.

Black students and professionals discussing at the 2023 Black Career Conference
A scene from the the 2023 Black Career Conference

A view from a conference organizer

With the conference just over a week away, Husni Arwo shares his enthusiasm, stating, “I am most eager to see attendees engaging with panelists, sponsors, and each other. My favorite memory from last year was when I moderated the technology panel. The panel featured three accomplished women in the industry and a predominantly black female audience. The sparkle in the students’ eyes, fueled by the connections made, captured the essence of this event”.

“My favorite memory from last year was when I moderated the technology panel…The sparkle in the students’ eyes, fueled by the connections made, captured the essence of this event”.

Husni Arwo, BCom ’25 and Executive Conference Lead, Black Rotman Commerce

A committed team

Behind the scenes, months of planning by the dedicated Black Rotman Commerce team are about to culminate in a true labour of love. Despite encountering challenges, such as the unexpected withdrawal of a panelist, the team seamlessly improvised, including reaching out to a former group president who gladly stepped in to help at the last minute. Clearly, the challenges faced by the Black Rotman Commerce team have only strengthened their group. This example is evidence of their resilience and collective commitment which reflects their passion for fostering inclusivity and success in the Black community.

This is just the beginning

Looking forward, there’s a vision to potentially expand the conference to a three-day weekend format, aligning with Black Rotman Commerce’s mission to empower the Black community. As the conference unfolds, it not only marks another annual milestone but also paves the way for a future of continued growth, impact, and meaningful engagement.

By Sonia Singh (BCom ‘25) | January 4, 2024

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