Students attend fifth annual CCI career expo for internship opportunities

Kent State students from the College of Communication and Information attended the fifth annual CCI Career Expo Wednesday afternoon to interact with businesses that could fulfill their mandatory internship requirement.

The CCI Career Expo, typically held in Cleveland, was brought to the Kent State Student Center Ballroom this year to help the 420 sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students who registered for this event to network with potential employers.

A wide variety of 50 businesses in and near Northeast Ohio were in attendance, ranging from the Akron Beacon Journal to the Akron Zoo.

“It’s great for CCI because it’s a career fair that’s narrowed specifically to our interests,” said Brooke Davis, a junior communications studies major.

Marianne Warzinski, career director for CCI, planned this expo for the first time and said it was important to have it at Kent State so more students could attend, showing employers how prepared CCI students are coming out of this program.

“When talking to the businesses, I feel like they’re good fits for our students,” Warzinski said. “Our students are adaptable and have a lot of different skills. They’re going to find some really nice opportunities here.”

Most CCI students must obtain an internship for credit before they graduate, making it important for students to start looking early on in their college career. Students were encouraged to dress in professional attire and come prepared with several copies of their resume or business cards to hand out to potential employers.

“I practiced my elevator pitch three to four times in my room before this,” said Anna Huntsman, a junior journalism major. “I’m telling them who I am, my experience so far at Kent (State), what I have done with TV2 and why I am trying to get more experience.”

While students are looking for summer internships at this career expo, businesses are also scouting for their ideal candidate.

“We look for people who are curious,” said Craig Webb, a journalist from the Akron Beacon Journal. “We look for the whole package. Anyone can throw a sentence together, but can they be engaging?”

The Akron Beacon Journal has been involved in this career expo since it started five years ago and is familiar with the students that come out of the CCI program.

“We have a student correspondent position that works as a full-time reporter,” Webb said. “What we have found out so far is these students are fully prepared.”

A big draw for students is that a majority of businesses are offering opportunities in Northeast Ohio, making it convenient for students to attend. Davis said it’s helpful to see all of the options that are available in the area.

“It’s important to get our foot in the door, network and connect to see what we have available in media in our area,” Davis said.

Although Northeast Ohio isn’t the end goal for some students, getting experience close to home is valuable when wanting to move into bigger job markets.

“To work locally in a nonprofit helps you learn how to work for something you care about,” Davis said. “If I want to go work in Europe or India, I will know what it feels like to be familiar with locality.”

Warzinski said one of the main struggles was preparing students for how to market themselves at a career expo. She hopes to plan more resume building workshops next year, as well as advice sessions and career development programs, so students feel fully prepared to talk to employers.

“I really do see a lot of growth with what we could do in our college,” Warzinski said.

Two Kent State alumni representing WKYC Channel 3 News gave advice from a professional and graduate perspective about being marketable to employers.

“Be willing to do anything and everything,” said Meg Hambach, senior producer for WKYC. “Take that job in a tiny little market somewhere to get experience to get your foot in the door.”

Danielle Johnson is the jobs reporter, contact her at [email protected].

Molly Spillman is the CCI reporter, contact her at [email protected].