Panelist Profiles

Hiring International Students

Dr. Geet Vanaik, Ph.D., Director, Office of International Student and Scholar Services, Northwestern University

Dr. Geet Vanaik is the Director of the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISS) at Northwestern University, where she oversees immigration services for international students, scholars, and employees. With over thirteen years of international education experience, Dr. Vanaik’s passion pulls her towards innovative high-level, globally recognized platforms to meet the rapidly evolving needs of international students and scholars in both the U.S. and abroad. Previously, Dr. Vanaik served as Dean of International Affairs at Greenville University, overseeing the development of international partnerships, student services, admissions, study abroad programming, and teaching in the School of Business. Dr. Vanaik received her doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Maryville University in St. Louis and her Masters in Biotechnology Management from SIUE.

Despina Pigott, Director of Immigration and Mobility, Gensler

Despina Pigott's professional experience spans two different industries - business immigration and educational recruitment and she has purposefully chosen fields that have provided meaning and fulfillment. She finds helping others secure their professional futures, either by aiding them to obtain a work permit or matching them with a school, extraordinarily satisfying. Currently the Director of Immigration and Mobility at Gensler, the world's leading global architecture, design, and planning firm, Despina commenced her U.S. immigration career in the late nineties at BAL Global (originally known as Berry, Appleman & Leiden). There she played an integral role in leading the nonimmigrant visa (NIV) practice as the firm transformed from a boutique immigration law firm of thirty employees into an international law firm with over four hundred employees.

Fiona McEntee, Managing Attorney, McEntee Law Group

Fiona McEntee is the Managing Attorney of McEntee Law Group in Chicago. Fiona is also the Chair of the Media & Advocacy Committee for AILA National, and the Media Committee Chair for the Chicago Chapter. She is regularly featured in national and international media including MSNBC, CNN, and The New York Times. Fiona frequently speaks/writes on the extraordinary ability visa and green cards (O-1/EB-1A) and on immigration options for startups including the new International Entrepreneur Parole. Fiona was recently asked to submit a statement to Congress on the need for a startup visa and how the outdated U.S. immigration policies push entrepreneurs and startups to other countries. Last year, Fiona wrote and published Our American Dream – an award-winning children’s book on immigration.

Chris Herzog, Director of Development, TIBCO Software, Inc

Chris Herzog is a 35 year technology industry veteran leading the building and recruiting of engineering teams for 25 years. He works primarily in the operating systems, embedded systems, and high performance networking spaces, He has been involved with building and leading high performance software / hardware teams as well as recruiting for highly technical engineering positions across a variety of disciplines. He focuses on helping new graduates go further and go faster by providing them information about how the recruiting and evaluation process works so that they can find and get considered for their dream jobs and he can find his dream team members. He is dedicated to helping get new graduates the information and insight so that they participate to the fullest in the recruiting process to help get the best results - for everyone involved.

Recruiting for a Hybrid Work World

Joe Mix, Talent Lead, W.W. Grainger, Chicago

Joe Mix is a Talent Lead at WW Grainger. He is part of the Talent Team, which focuses on recruiting, learning and career development. Past projects have included the rollout of the employer brand, executive coaching and development, high-potential leadership programs, orientation and onboarding and general skills inventory. Prior to his current role, Joe was employed at DePaul university for eight years, four those years in the DePaul Career Center.

Katie Doerer, Campus Recruiting Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

After a brief stint in Hedge Fund Accounting at Cargill and IT Operations at Target Corp, Katie feels lucky to have spent most of her career in Campus Recruiting. She joined PwC in 2012 and has led a variety of schools and programs across the Midwest since. Her favorite thing about Campus Recruiting is helping students navigate the recruiting process and seeing their excitement as they accept their first job out of college. Outside of work, Katie is a proud military spouse and Mother to twin 6 year old sons and a 3 year old daughter. Katie graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BSB in Accounting and an MBA.

Erin Cohan, Director, Talent Acquisition, Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, Chicago

Erin Cohan is Director, Talent Acquisition for Northwestern Medicine (NM). In her current role she is responsible for overseeing NM’s contract labor management program, including the undertaking of COVID staffing related initiatives. She is also responsible for the management and growth of NM’s graduate and undergraduate internships, apprenticeship programs, and administrative fellowship programs. Erin also guides campus recruitment for the health system and her team participates in over 100 career fairs each year. Erin joined Northwestern Memorial Hospital in 2013 after working in the staffing industry. She is passionate about creating partnerships and attracting a diverse and talented workforce for NM.

Recruiting for a Post-Covid Work World

Kim Bonds, Campus Recruiter, CDW

Kim Bonds is Campus Recruiter for CDW, leading the recruiting efforts for CDW’s Summer Internship Program in the Chicagoland area. Prior to joining CDW, she worked as a recruiter for Peoplescout for 8 years where she led the recruitment for several roles and clients such as Boeing, Avis Budget Group and Cisco. She specializes in early talent identification and is passionate about helping students navigate their career paths and professional development.

Kirsten Pointer, University Programs Specialist, Webtoon

Kirsten Pointer facilitates meaningful relationships between Universities and WEBTOON - the world's largest comics publisher and #1 comics app. WEBTOON University Programs helps to connect students, faculty and staff to WEBTOON resources to help them pursue their goals with our platforms, programs and industry-defining teams.

Flannery Donahue, Senior University Engagement Representative, Pepsico

Flannery has worked on the Campus Talent Acquisition Team at PepsiCo for three years. In her role as a Sr. University Engagement Representative, she manages recruitment strategy and process for four university partners. Prior to PepsiCo, she spent seven years at Northwestern Career Advancement on the employer relations team. Flannery lives in Lincoln Park and enjoys running, playing tennis, and finding the best desserts in Chicago.