MAC Hosts Largest Career Day Ever

A total of 123 employers and an estimated 400 students attended the annual Spring Career Day, making it the largest career day yet, in the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC) on Wednesday April 8. The University’s Office of Career Services put the event together. 

There was an increase in employer attendance by 12 percent from last year, making the event a success, according to William Hill, Assistant Dean for Career Services. “We had 123 employers attend the event (126 minus 3 no shows), a new record for all career days and, despite a historically flat job market, this is the fourth spring career fair in a row to see a significant increase in employer attendance,” he said. Hill credited the event’s success to all the employees at Career Services, including Jeffrey Mass, the Assistant Director. 

The central goal of the event is to create an environment where students can network with employers and seek possible job opportunities. “We think it’s important for students to attend events like this so they can maximize their contacts for internships and full-time career opportunities and learn about what jobs are out in the marketplace. Career days give students a chance to be interviewed on-the-spot, instead of having to apply online and wait days or even weeks for a response from an employer,” Hill explained. 

Dana McCann, senior marketing and management major and Realtor Associate who was present at the event representing Keller Williams Reality, said the event was a success from an employer standpoint. “The career fair was definitely a success. We spoke to several students that seemed highly qualified and handled themselves in a very professional manner,” she said. 

McCann also discussed how she believes the main goal of the event was to give students an opportunity to speak with employers. “For some students this might be their first time actually speaking to professional employers, so to have a career fair at Monmouth definitely gives them a chance to gain some great real world experience,” she said. 

Tyler Hansen, junior computer science major, expressed his positive experience with the career fair, explaining how he heard back from an employer the following day. “The career fair was very helpful to me in my pursuit of a summer internship,” said Hansen. “…While I was at the career fair I handed out at least eight resumes to potential employers who will now have my resume on record for when I do apply for a full time job next year. One company at the career fair asked if I would be available for an interview on site in the near future for a summer internship. I would say I had a great experience at the spring career fair,” he continued. 

Spring CareerCareer Services invites a variety of employers to campus with the intention of providing opportunities to students of all majors, according to Hill. “In fact, we limit the number of employers from any one industry type to about 15 percent of the total so that there is not an overrepresentation from a single sector of the job market,” Hill added. 

Some students were satisfied with the amount of opportunities present within their major, “I was very satisfied with the amount if opportunities present within my major. As a computer science student there is a huge number of opportunities for jobs in my field. There were plenty of companies looking for computer science students for either full time positions or internships,” explained Hansen. 

Briana Gayaram, sophomore biology major, also offered her opinion of the event. “I found the career fair was more directed towards business majors, so it was not really helpful as a bio major but it was helpful to network with people,” Gayaram said. “I would go again for the experience, meeting new people and looking for jobs or internships,” she continued.  

Hill discussed how the Office of Career Services is pleased with the overall turnout this year but added that there is always room for improvement, “Career Services is very happy with both student and employer turnout, but we never want to stop trying to improve the event. Someday I would like to see 150 or even 200 employers visit the campus,” said Hill. 

Mass offered advice to students who plan on going to a career fair in the future. He urged students to make a list of employers they plan on speaking with, which can be found in advance at the University’s official website under the Career Services section. 

Mass also emphasized the need for students to prepare what they will say and how they will dress. “Put time and effort into planning your ‘elevator pitch’. First impressions still go a long way, so make sure to start off with a firm handshake, maintain good eye contact, and dress appropriately for the occasion,” he said. 

Hansen explained the importance of being confident at an event similar to this, “When you go to the Career Fairs you have to remember that employers aren’t there just to hand out free stuff, they are there because they need talented individuals who can become a part of their team and help them grow their company. If you are confident, and know what you are talking about, the representatives will be very excited to get to know you better possibly in an interview. If you sell yourself well at the career fair a lot of opportunities can be coming your way,” he said. 

Students are welcome to visit the Office of Career Services to obtain tips regarding interview skills, resume and cover letter help, and job search strategies. “The staff there will help them build the confidence needed to succeed,” Mass added. 

PHOTOS COURTESY of Casey Trautwein