Preparing For the Future

Job Fair Week Sets Students Up For Success

By Miles Craven

            It’s never too early to start networking in college, and Job Fair Week is a great place to begin. It does not matter if you are a first-year student right out of high school, or finishing your last semester and about to graduate. This event is full of opportunities for students of all classes and areas of study.

            This semester’s Job Fair Week begins Feb. 13 and will take place in the AMU. Many opportunities can stem from students networking with the various employers that attend the event. Some students end up earning interviews. These interviews at the Job Fair can be helpful for feedback on navigating the interview process in the future. In other cases, some students may be lucky enough to end up with an internship or even full-time employment. Regardless, one of the most important job skills this event allows students to take with them is networking experience.

            Through conversations with the visiting employers, students can make connections with important individuals or companies in their fields. These connections can lead to potential interviews in the future. Some people say it’s all about who you know, and this is one way to make sure students know the right people.

            I spoke to Katrina Shull from Findlay’s Career Services office to find out how employers came to be involved with this event. Over the years, the list of potential employers invited to the job fairs has grown to at least 60, with as many as 70. Employers from previous events are always sent an e-mail inviting them to participate in future job fairs, and new employers that are interested are encouraged to contact the office. “Some of these employers can attend as sponsors,” Shull said. “This means they pay to visit, which allows them more advertising by the university and a table at the front of the room closest to the doors.”

A lot of students think that the job fair is mainly for upperclassmen who are going to be participating in the job search in the near future but this isn’t necessarily the case.

            UF Alum Andrew Mieure said, “I attended Job Fair Week as a sophomore not expecting much from it because I was still young in my college career but I actually ended up with a lot of useful connections which led me to an internship down the road.”

The event is open to all students and even alumni. All classes are encouraged to go because of the networking opportunities. As seen in Andrew’s case, it really ended up working out well. There are mock interview opportunities as well. These can be important to younger students, and give them an idea about what they need to work on throughout their years at UF. In previous years, attendance has been somewhat lacking so they are hoping to see a better turn out this year.

            No matter if a student is in their first year or last, every Oiler would be wise to show up to these events throughout their college career. The potential positives outweigh the negatives. “Attendance at these job fairs really show the employers that the university’s students actually care about their futures,” Shull said. “They show up more for the students than for themselves.”

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