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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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Students get a head start in the workforce

Lauryn Tadda
Career Exploration and Development held the Summer Internship and Job Fair on Tuesday, Feb. 6 in the Student Center.

More than 300 young professionals shuffled through The Student Center on Tuesday to hear what employers had to offer for their career goals at the Summer Internship and Job Fair.

Career Exploration and Development typically holds one to two large career fairs a semester, but this was the first one to focus on summer opportunities. Students were excited and anxious to speak with the 30 employers attending from across Ohio. 

Avian Austin, a sophomore integrated language arts major, expressed her nervousness about competition in the workforce. 

“I know education, especially English, can be competitive, especially for good wages as a teacher,” Austin said. 

Nerves are expected from young professionals at the start of their career. Ellen Kratky, a career advisor with Career Exploration and Development, said students should understand what the employer is hiring for and focus less on the employer’s name. 

“Don’t be afraid to ask employers questions; these people are here to recruit you,” Kratky said. “They want to talk to you, and they want to give you information. The ball is in your court.” 

The fair not only offered potential employment opportunities but also a booth for professional headshots and one to help students dress more professionally called the “Career Closet.”

The Career Closet provided free professional attire at the Summer Internship and Job fair on Tuesday, Feb. 6 in the Student Center. (Lauryn Tadda)

Employers’ goals for the career fair differ within each company, but all look for  professional college students. They highlighted the importance of students putting their best foot forward when attending career fairs as well.

“It’s weird to me seeing people in pajama pants at a recruiting event,” said Laura Cruise, an accounting manager in Progressive’s reinsurance accounting and reporting department. “Maybe people should consider wearing something other than pajamas because these are people you are wanting to get a job from, and you should really be making a good impression.”

Many employers highlighted the fact that while they may not be advertising a career in a student’s interested field, students should still connect with them as they might be able to work with what the student is studying. 

“Talk to as many people as possible; that’s how you are going to find out what you want to do,” said Ian Watlington, a partner of Proof Marketing. “Try everything. Something may surprise you.”

For students looking for a head start on their career, a Meet the Employers event will be held 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. April 10 at the Design Innovation Hub.

Lauryn Tadda is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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