By OLIVIA TAYLOR
The Center for Career and Professional Development hosted a fall job and internship fair for all university students on Oct. 24. The fair took place in the Chandler Ballroom of the University center. This event gave students a chance to interact with professionals from many different industries, explore various job and internship opportunities.
“We typically have anywhere from 200 to 300 students and alumni attend each semester,” said Rose Maddox, who is the Operations and Employer Relations Manager for the center. “We send out evaluations after the event and use that feedback to improve our fairs each year. We’ve heard from many students and alums that they have found internships and full-time jobs after networking with an employer at the fair.”
The fair includes tables of a diverse group of potential employers.
“A wide variety of organizations attended this year including nonprofits, for-profits, school systems and government organizations such as CIA, FBI, GEICO, National Park Service, Peace Corps, Rappahannock Area Community Services Board, Spectrum Autism Services, Tech Wizards, etc.” said Maddox.
The fair is a great opportunity to explore different opportunities that students have not previously thought about or been exposed to.
“Many students hesitate to speak to certain employers because of their industry,” said Maddox. “However, most of the employers in attendance are looking for all majors and have a wide variety of openings in different areas… We encourage students to speak to as many employers as possible, even if they don’t feel like it’s in their major.”
When asked about the Career and Internship fair, senior business administration major, Caroline Callahan talked about her experience.
“I attended this event in order to pursue all of the different options that may be available after graduation,” said Callahan. “It is a really cool event that is put on and is a really awesome service provided for students who may need help networking and looking for jobs after graduation.”
Students arrived ready to network with copies of their resume in interview-ready outfits. The career center offered many different resources for students to prepare for the event such as looking over resumes and creating a 30 second commercial.
“When meeting new individuals in a professional setting, it is important to make a strong first impression so we also encourage students to have a ’30 second commercial’ prepared,” said Maddox. “This pitch should highlight strengths and accomplishments and convey the ways that you could add value to the organization.”
Students from all academic fields attend the fair.
“I attended the Career and Internship fair with the intent with speaking with some of the different government agencies that were in attendance such as the FBI and the CIA,” said Geography and GIS major Kaitlin Kean. “This was an opportunity for me to work on my resume and my professional skills. It was also just fun to be able to dress professionally and learn about different fields.”
The career center utilized the software Handshake in conjunction with the event.
“Handshake is UMW’s official job and internship database,” said Maddox. “It has allowed the Career Center to post targeted career information, internship and employment opportunities, and events. The Career Center has been using Handshake to market the fair, provide information on the event, and compile information on the companies attending.”
Students are able to continue the job search post career in internship fair utilizing the resources at the Center for Career and Professional Development which is located in the University Center and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.