Job fair offers employment opportunities, career advantages to students

Jackie Phillips

Career Services hosted the Winter Semester Job Fair on Wednesday, March 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Northern Center. The fair hosted a number of companies and organizations for students to learn about full-time jobs and internships. 

The job fair offered students the opportunity to talk to businesses and organizations. By talking to these organizations, students can learn more about a company and what it looks like to work at that company. Employers are also given the opportunity to learn about students. 

“The employers get a sense of who you are,” said Grant Langdon, assistant director of Career Services. “It is like a mini interview and results in a head start in the hiring process. In fact, over 90% of employers at the last job fair reported they plan to invite candidates [they] met at the job fair for further interviews.” 

For each job fair, the planning starts about a year in advance. Career Services begins by reviewing feedback from the most recent job fair, checking industry trends and looking for areas that can be improved. Promotion for the fair started about six months prior to the actual date of the fair. This promotion timeline was utilized to get employers interested, registered and to have their payments processed. 

Career Services also had to coordinate with the venue by reserving the space, planning a menu and working with other specialized requests. Then the staff had to assign employers tables all while handling an influx of phone calls from employers both registering and changing their registration up until the morning of the event. 

Students received an email two days prior to the event that held a list of employers who would be attending the fair. These included businesses such as Aflac, Children’s Wisconsin, EDUStaff, Flagstar Bank, Riverside Auto Group and more. 

Students should attend job fairs in order to learn about different employers and to get an advantage in the hiring process, Career Services Executive Secretary Kara Cox said. 

“Opportunities come to those who get out and interact with others,” Cox said. “Even if you are not graduating for years, talking to an employer about why they like their company can help you to know where you may want to intern in the future. You just never know what could come from events like this.” 

Students were advised to come to the job fair dressed for an interview with a resume in hand. Research on the employers that students most wanted to talk to was advised as well. The research done on the employers was suggested due to the fact that businesses of all industries need employees for divisions like accounting, marketing, public relations and more. 

Cox and Langdon offer this advice to students: “The early opportunities, connections and internships you get give an advantage for the next opportunity which gives you an advantage on the next, and so on. So, the earlier a student starts establishing and working towards their career goals, the more time their skills, experiences and network get to grow before they even graduate.”