Career expo helps students network, find work

Posted on Mar 1 2018 - 8:25pm by Chris Oehrli

Underclassmen, graduate students and alumni clad in dresses and suits alike mixed together in a packed ballroom at The Inn at Ole Miss with the goal of meeting potential employers. More than 400 students attended the career fair yesterday in hopes of networking and finding future work.

The four-hour event, organized by the university’s Career Center, was the third of its kind this semester. Unlike others, Thursday’s fair was an “all majors” expo, meaning anyone was welcome to attend, regardless of his or her field of study.

“It’s an easy way to network with people doing the hiring,” said Jonathan Harrington, associate director of Employer Services at the university.

Harrington said a common problem for students seeking work is that they will send in resumes that are never seen. The Career Expo and events like it are designed to cut out the middleman and let prospective employees introduce themselves directly, which can lead to a higher chance of them being hired. Harrington said students benefit from these in-person first impressions.

“Say you’re trying to go into software engineering,” he said. “If you are, you don’t know if they’re going to see your paperwork you sent in. Here, you can meet face to face. Lots of students get interviews they wouldn’t have otherwise, which in turn become jobs.”

The expo’s inclusivity is good for students unsure of what they want to do as well as those who are seeking immediate work. Alumni looking for new work opportunities can benefit for the same reason.

“A lot of times, a bank will still hire a psychology major if they have the right skill set,” Harrington said.

Nearly 60 businesses were represented at the expo, according to the Career Center’s newsletter. Many were Mississippi-based, like Sanderson Farms, Bank of Yazoo and Next Gear Solutions.

Mark Cavallo, a junior civil engineering major, said he came to the expo looking for internships.

“A lot of the people are really nice,” he said of the employers he spoke to. “They’re extremely helpful and love to talk to you.”

The Career Center has hosted similar expos specifically for people planning to work engineering, manufacturing or technology jobs earlier this month and a Diversity and Inclusion Networking Night this past Wednesday.

The Pharmacy Internship Recruitment Day is planned for today and its Educator Recruitment Day is set for next month.