Career Fair Time

by Olivia Miller

The past few weeks the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been hosting the various spring career fairs. My office is called the Academic & Career Advising Center and has both Academic Advisors and Career Coaches for a partnership to provide both services for students throughout their time at UNL. With this set up, the advisors volunteer to help out at the career fairs to assist and support our own Career Coaches as well as University Career Services. While most of my time as an advisor is spent with students focused on the next semester at the earliest, this time at the career fair allowed me the opportunity to see students focused on the next step after graduation.

My time at the career fair was spent checking student into the Pinnacle Bank Area where over 100 employers saw over 900 students in one afternoon. Now I myself had only attended one career fair as an undergraduate, but during my graduate assistantship I spent time teaching students how to prepare and attend a career fair. As I checked students in I saw a wide variety of students – the seniors looking for their first job, juniors and sophomore looking for the right internship for that experience and resume booster, and of course the freshman there because it was required for class (but a great experience to start early). Along with the variety of students, you saw the variety of preparedness or seriousness of the students. You saw everything between business suits, business casual, to what I would call concert attire and even sweat pants and flip flops.

My role in checking in students was not to judge, but I’ll be honest – it was very difficult seeing students less prepared than others. It made me realize that some students simply are not ready, or are not taking advantage of the wide variety of resources to make this a strong experience. The Career Coaches across the colleges and University Career Services put so much effort and energy into reaching out to students to make them ready for events like this, but they do not always reach each student. My hope for those that attended the career fairs learned what to expect, how to present themselves and gained knowledge and confidence for the next step of their job search. It is a scary process, and not an easy one, but they took that first step of putting themselves out there and attending a career fair.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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1 comment :

  1. Great perspective! I ran job fairs at my institution during my masters program as well and I can surly relate! Now I work at a small school and they require that all students dress up for the fairs. Keep up the good work!


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