HireACane Academy

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HireACane Academy (HACA) is Toppel’s recruiter conference and retreat where recruiters come together to discuss critical topics and recruiting trends. Employers and UM representatives create interactive presentations, and faculty and students share their expertise and insight into the recruiting process.  Past topics include diversity, equity, and inclusion in recruiting, branding your organization on campus, faculty engagement, and more. 

HireACane Academy: Empower, Connect, and Ignite
May 6-7, 2024

HireACane Academy (HACA) Recruiter Conference brings recruiters together to discuss critical topics and recruiting trends. Join us for a transformative two days at the University of Miami’s beautiful Coral Gables campus as we unlock the keys to effectively EMPOWER, CONNECT, and IGNITE with this vibrant and influential demographic. This year’s HACA will feature insightful discussions, panels, and workshops that will equip recruiters with the tools and strategies necessary to empower Gen Z individuals to thrive in the workforce. Through interactive sessions and networking opportunities, attendees will have the chance to forge valuable connections with industry peers, thought leaders, and UM student leaders. Register today!


Day 1 – May 6, 2024 
Miami Breakfast: 9:30 - 10:00 am 
Welcome & Introductions: 10:00 - 10:30 am 
Ali Rodriguez, Executive Director, Toppel Career Center 
Fireside Chat: 10:30 - 11:45 am
Professionalism Revisited: A Fireside Chat led by Christian Garcia, Associate Dean and Executive Director at the Toppel Career Center
FeaturingMicah Johnson, Associate Director of EmpowerMe First, University of Miami Office of Academic Enhancement, Judy Pantoja, Senior VP – Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley, and Devin Rogan, Recruiting Manager for Talent Acquisition, Chewy  
Debrief Session: 
11:45 am - 12:15 pm
Lunch & Network: 12:15 – 1:15 pm 
Enjoy a delicious lunch and network with Toppel staff 
Session on Student Mental Health: 1:15 - 2:15 pm
Led by Rene Monteagudo, PhD, Director of University of Miami Counseling Center  
Debrief Session: 2:15 - 2:45 pm
Student & Faculty Panel: 2:45 – 4:00 pm 
Student Panelists: Aishani Ramdin (Junior, Psychology), Christine Lara (Junior, Biomedical Engineering), and Ashley Chavarria (Junior, Accounting)  
Faculty panelists: Lokesh Ramamoorthi, Lecturer, College of Engineering, Innovation, Technology and Design program, and Doug Lehmann, Associate Professor of Professional Practice and Director, Deloitte Institute for Research and Practice in Analytics, Miami Herbert Business School 
Reception: 4:00-5:30 pm 
Wind down and network with UM students, faculty and staff! 

Day 2 – May 7, 2024 
Breakfast: 9:00 - 9:30 am
Welcome & Opening Activity: 9:30 - 9:45 am
(Optional) Guided Campus Tour: 9:45 - 10:15 am
Enjoy a guided campus tour and explore our campus.
Deans Panel: 10:30 – 11:45 am
Moderator: Dr. Kathi Kern, Senior Vice Provost for Education 
Panelists: Ann Olazabal, Interim Dean, Vice Dean of Lifelong Learning and Executive Education, and Professor of Business Law, Miami Herbert Business School, Ellenmarie McPhillip, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Services and Strategic Innovation, School of Education and Human Development  
Lunch: 11:45 am – 1:00 pm
Making the Most of Handshake: 1:00 – 1:50 pm
Led by Mel Pearce, Relationship Manager at Handshake
Harnessing AI for Talent Acquisition Success: 2:00 – 2:40 pm  
Presented by Jennifer Kaplan, Head of Campus and Diversity Recruiting, at Schonfeld & Joba Odediran, Assistant Director of Coaching and Outreach, at the Toppel Career Center  
Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining International Student Talent 2:45 – 3:25 pm  
A panel led by Carly Smith, Director of Career Education, at the Toppel Career Center and Marlon Bermudez, Assistant Director of Internships, at the Toppel Career Center
Debrief Session: 3:30 - 4:00 pm
Wrap-up and Closing Remarks: 4:00 pm   

- 2 Day Corporate: $299  
- 1 Day Corporate: $249  
- 2 Day Government/Non-Profit: $249  
- 1 Day Government/Non-Profit: $199 

Employer Testimonials

“Fantastic experience overall and definitely will be returning next year. I think this is an amazing program!” – Aly Picascio, RED Hospitality

“Amazing workshops and a great way to network with fellow recruiters.”
– Jamie Kibler, Modjeski & Masters, Inc.

“Thank you for consistently putting on an amazing event. The attention to detail does not go unnoticed and I always leave with new, helpful insights.”
– Erika Schmidt, RBI

“I love it when students are incorporated into the discussion.”
– Sarah Erb, Elder Affairs

“[HireACane Academy] was informative, engaging, and fun! We received some very valuable insights into the unique challenges involved in recruiting young talent in today’s job market.”
– Kyle Smith, City Wide Facility Solutions