Career Fair attendees don't leave newly formatted events empty-handed
Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 11, 2013 16:03
For the first time, UNO’s annual spring Career Fair was split into three separate fairs, with each junket hosting businesses that focused on specific career paths. The three fairs were held on March 5 and 6 at the Scott Conference Center and Mammel Hall.
The Scott Conference Center hosted a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fair on Tuesday and a HSLA (human service, social service, and liberal arts) fair on Wednesday. On Wednesday, Mammel Hall also hosted a fair offering only opportunities related to business administration, which was promoted by UNO’s Career Center but planned and held by the university’s College of Business Administration.
“Ultimately, our mission for these career fairs is to connect students to employers, and specializing each fair might make the opportunity a little easier,” said Katie Wesse, a career adviser for UNO’s Career Center. “It’s a great chance for students to make that contact with a business and land a job or internship.”
Over the three fairs, approximately 130 different booths were set up representing businesses. Nearly 140 students filtered through each fair to land career opportunities.
Many of the businesses contacted the Career Center and asked to be a part of the fair, and each business registered through UNO Career Connect, the online hiring system formerly known as Maverick Hirewire.
“The chances of landing a job or internship here are high because these companies definitely want to hire students,” Wesse said. “For example, one student came in here Tuesday and gave out eight copies of his resume. He left with three internship interviews lined up.”
Walking into the career fair in Scott Conference Center, a buzz of chatter could be heard throughout the room as students connected with professionals. Businesses with colorful booths, many of which had large displays and charts jetting from their tables toward the ceiling, were lined with professionals stretching out handshakes to students as they passed by.
Nicole Kubert, a senior graduating in May with a degree in speech communication, entered the career fair looking to make a face-to-face connection with a nonprofit organization such as The Salvation Army.
“I’m impressed with the career fair,” Kubert said. “There is a lot of opportunity here and a wide variety of organizations. It’s important to come to something like this because it allows organizations to put a face to a person’s name when they apply.”
Kubert, like many of the students visiting the fairs, prepared by simply coming in professional attire and updating her resume. To help students prepare, the Career Center hosted a career prep week the last week of February. During the week, students were given the chance to update their resumes, get professional clothing, and hear from professionals looking for applicants about how to prepare for the job fair.
From Gallup to Boys Town to Verizon Wireless, a variety of companies and organizations lined the walls of Mammel Hall and the Scott Conference Center during the three fairs.
“I’m here looking for young, energetic applicants,” said Stevie Sprague, human resource coordinator with Kiewit. “Our company recruits from UNO because we have found that UNO students hit the ground running once they enter the field.”
Besides professional businesses, a variety of booths promoting higher education programs were also at the three fairs. For example, Stephanie Osterthun with the University of Nebraska Lincoln’s Master of Business Administration program was at the HSLA fair looking to recruit students who hadn’t even thought about gaining an MBA yet.
“We are concerned with quality then quantity,” Osterthun said. “We are looking for a wide background of students, such as students with engineering or communication degrees.”
For those rare individuals who walked away from the career fairs empty handed, Wesse said the opportunity still wasn’t wasted time.
“It’s a good networking opportunity no matter what,” Wesse said. “Even if you’re a freshman, I encourage you to come to one and just explore what’s out there. It’s a great chance for students to get a feel for the career market.”