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Recapping Wake360: Connections and Learning

Group picture at Wake360 of students, staff, faculty, and Demon Deac
                 Students, staff, faculty, and Demon Deacon at Wake360 in Charlotte, NC.

Imagine an immersive weekend of networking and knowledge, career-building opportunities and inspiration, and resources, conversations, and connections that fully support today’s adult learner. 

That’s exactly what happened October 14-16 in Charlotte, N.C. at Wake360. 

ICYMI: Wake360 is the Wake Forest University School of Professional Studies annual, in-person experience in Charlotte designed to grow a participant’s future with a unique combination of real-time networking and knowledge designed with Wake Forest’s standard of excellence top-of-mind. Wake360 was a free event for any and all students who are currently enrolled in an SPS masters and/or certificate program. 

During this exclusive learning experience weekend, students:

  • Met leading leaders across a variety of industries and experiences;
  • Engaged in relevant workplace conversations: 
  • Powered up their respective leadership skills with the latest research and information; 
  • Learned new whole-person skills that will help them to show up stronger and more present at work, in school, and with family;
  • Asked questions and made connections during faculty and staff office hours; 
  • Met members of SPS’s Program Advisory Boards; 
  • Experienced career “speed dating”; 
  • Solved a real business case at one of the top advertising agencies in the southeast
  • Connected with classmates and colleagues they knew only virtually until now;
  • Toured Charlotte with a first-look at Wake Forest’s new construction and expansion plans 
  • Walked away with a new headshot to continue to kick up their professional game. 


What are our stand-out and favorite takeaways from the event? 

Students experienced the Wake Forest University family

Before leaving the event on Sunday, the SPS team heard from a number of student-attendees that they felt the Wake Forest family and community. “The Wake family is real. You are really here and truly care about us. We feel a part of something even from afar,” said one Wake360 student-attendee. 

“Engaging with the other students of such high caliber in an environment like Wake360 allows for open dialogue in which we are able to rigorously debate the unique challenges presented in today’s digital landscape,” said another. Rob Brown, a Wake360 attendee who is currently enrolled as a student in the SPS Digital Marketing Masters program.  

360 degrees of student support

When it comes to professional learning and development, there are a lot of resources – online and in-person- that will address one facet of someone’s development. Our team was mindful from the get-go that we wanted Wake360 to deliver whole-person support for student-attendees, all of whom are adult learners balancing work, family, and professional growth goals. Wake360 student-attendees experienced a lot of different facets and opportunities to connect with other students, other programs, people in industries and our WFU support team. 

Relationship building

We were amazed by the number of connections made and relationships built during Wake360. Our greatest joy was seeing student-attendees connecting with our Program Advisory Board (PAB) members. One PAB member, who works as a Vice President at Bank of America in Charlotte offered to help a student transition roles. Another PAB member, who is a Vice President at Atrium Health, was actively recruiting a Project Management student.


We were proud and honored to toast our graduate certificate students and celebrate two students who were recently promoted. 

One student was almost in tears because he was so excited. We were happy to pause our dinner to cheers to him – and with him. 

If that doesn’t capture the Wake Forest spirit, we don’t know what does. 

Some of our favorite facts and figures from the immersive weekend experience

  • Shout-out to Jaysen Williams who traveled the farthest to get to Wake360; he lives and works in Fleming Isle, FL
  • We were honored to welcome students from Virgina, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina 
  • Industries represented: Finance, Business, Healthcare, Consultancy – and a Spokesperson
  • SPS program most well represented: Project Management
  • Number of guest speakers in 48 hours: Eight 
  • Number of meals shared together: Five 

Wake to What’s Next

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