The Kent State Field House is where one would expect to hear the crunch of football pads colliding or running shoes beating off of the rubber track. Instead, it was filled with the sound of clipboards, pens filling out applications and students conversing over future employment opportunities Thursday.
The Fall Internship, Co-op and Career Fair took place Friday afternoon, held in the spacious Field House for the first time.
“It’s our first fair here and it seems to be going well,” said Craig Wilkinson, career exploration and development recruiting coordinator. “I’ve heard no complaints and the space in general has allowed us to expand to a capacity that allows for 168 employers.”
The event has taken place at the Student Center Ballroom in the past, but Career Exploration and Development made the change to the Field House this year to accommodate more students and employers.
Students took advantage of the multitude of potential full-time and part-time employers, as well as internship opportunities. The event also offered a free professional photography station for students to use for their LinkedIn profile pictures.
“It was intimidating at first,” said Katie O’Connell, a junior fashion merchandising major. To combat this, O’Connell talked to an employer “for 10 minutes straight” about what their company had to offer and was looking for.
“All the employers, they want to talk to you and get to know you,” said George Wischt, a senior mathematics major. “It’s real easy to have a conversation with them.”
Students and employers alike expressed how important it is to build a rapport with each other at these types of events.
“There’s a lot of students who just hand you a resume,” said Dan Carl, a Transportation Management Software representative. “We want the charismatic one who is interested in the opportunities we offer.”
Carl also stressed the importance of internships for students.
“An internship is more valuable than anyone understands,” Carl said. “Real-life experience can be as valuable as a degree itself.”
The move to the Field House went over well with employers.
“I love the set up here,” said Derek Rader, a representative for Ohio Guidestone, a mental health counseling company. “I got plenty of room and I don’t feel like I am in a broom closet like I did last year in the ballroom.”
The Internship, Co-op and Career Fair takes place every fall and spring semester for students to take advantage of the opportunity to network with employers before they reach their final year.
“Don’t be like me and wait until your senior year,” Wishct said.
Nicholas Adkins is the student finance/jobs reporter, contact him at [email protected]