Students look for opportunities at internship, career fair


Students talk with potential employers at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. 

Aaron McDade

More than 1,000 students and alumni had the chance to connect and network with representatives from 145 employers about jobs and internships at the Fall Internship, Co-op and Career Fair Wednesday.

The fair took place on the basketball courts inside the Student Recreation and Wellness Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students checked in near the entrance and received a nametag with their name and major on it.

The Fairs App, available on the App Store and Google Play Store, allowed students to see a list of employers that were at the fair, including Target, Giant Eagle, Goodyear and dozens of others. It also shows which employers will be in attendance at future Kent State networking events, along with a map of the fair that shows where each company will be.

Using the Fairs app to get an idea of what companies students want to talk to is one of the ways they can prepare for the fair, as preparation is one of the most important aspects of attending a career fair.

“It’s really nice when they come up and they know what they want,” said Jay Sheppard, a corporate recruiter for Westfield Hospitality. Sheppard said students already knowing what they are looking for when they come to career fairs helps recruiters for companies like Westfield quickly understand how to point the student in the right direction within their company or let them know that they might not be the best fit in a company.

Sheppard said he has been to “more fairs than I can count,” as he started as a recruiter for the Air Force nine years ago and has been a recruiter ever since. Some of the biggest mistakes he said he has seen students make is not bringing copies of their resume or not doing enough research about the companies they plan to talk to beforehand.

In addition to the employers available to talk to, Career Exploration and Development provided several services right next to the fair. In nearby rooms, students could get a free professional headshot taken, borrow clothes from the Career Closet to complete their professional outfit or get advice from Career Exploration and Development representatives.

“We could talk them through an elevator pitch, or what we call a power greeting, which is ‘how do I approach an employer table, how do I present myself,’” said Robin Pijor, the associate director of Career Exploration and Development.

Pijor also said they could help students think of questions they should ask representatives about their companies or about the representatives themselves, like what their jobs entail or how long they’ve been with their companies.

Hunter Bullock, a Hiring Manager for Davey Resource Group said he thinks the most beneficial part of Kent State hosting career fairs is the exposure students get to many different types of companies that might be outside the categories of their major, but they could still learn from.

If students could not attend the career fair, they can still find hundreds of on or off-campus internships and job opportunities through Handshake, where they can also register and prepare for the Spring Internship, Co-op and Career Fair on Feb. 21, 2019.

Aaron McDade is the jobs and money reporter. Contact him at [email protected].