Alex Cohen, a 24-year-old Highland Park native, wanted to capitalize on a sales background that started in college.
So he recently went to The Business Event, a career service day of sorts that combined B2B with job counseling and training. It is the second annual occurrence and is brainchild of Skokie entrepreneur Shalom Klein.
Cohen has had an interesting history since graduating from DePaul University in 2010 with a marketing degree and concentration in sales leadership. He spent 15 months in Israel after unsuccessfully trying to open a restaurant in Chicago with some friends.
On this day, however, Cohen is with some 5,000 job seekers who are looking for a new opportunity.
“I strongly believe there are people here who want to give me a shot,” Cohen sensed.
Meet the life coach -
Steven Chervony is another person mingling among the exhibits that was spread over two floors at the Lincolnwood Town Center Mall on June 14.
Chervony, 54, is a “life coach,” which means he tries to get individuals to dig down and get the best out of themselves. He has been at this line of work for 14 years and is constantly on the move talking to people.
What is his goal?
“To meet anybody who is willing to talk about what I do. This will be as effective as I make it,” Chervony said.
These are just some of the stories heard at The Business Event. With the economy continuing to struggle, people continue to look for any help in making their lives better. Some go to the B2B exhibits, others went to job and business workshops at a nearby senior citizens center. Some folks went to both, courtesy of a free shuttle bus.
The event also attracted the attention of not just regular people, but elected officials as well.
“Shalom has put together several different business events,” said U.S. Congressman Bob Dold, (R-10) who ventured out of his district. “I am trying to support businesses and the economy. We have held job fairs up at in the 10th District. This is a jobs fair that is focused on B2B endeavors.”
Despite being a only 23, Klein has achieved a cult following in the area with this event in addition to many other ventures. He has been to the White House eight times over the past year for conversations with the Obama Administration.
“Shalom Klein is a force of nature,” said U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-9). “Everything he does is a big success. There is nothing stopping him. I just feel confident with him as a leader for the next generation that we are going to be all OK.”
A possible opportunity -
Another member of that next generation, Cohen, left Lincolnwood feeling more confident after networking at the event.
“Being in sales and in recruitment for so long, I know everything is a numbers game,” Cohen said after he met with representatives of financial services, banking and insurance companies. He believed if he made five solid contacts he would be in good shape in his job search and was pleased with the two hours he spent on this day.
Since the event, the solid job offer has yet to come, but follow up interviews have materialized. He remains hopeful that something permanent will develop soon.
“Something like this is always a good opportunity,” Cohen noted. “Even if you don’t find something, at least you tried.”