LIBERTY UNIVERSITY’S Career Center hosts fair featuring over 100 employers for students to MAKE CONNECTIONS
The Spring Career Fair last Thursday hosted by the Career Center brought 100 employers and over 900 students to the LaHaye Event Space for networking and professional advancement.
Students dressed in their best suits with résumés in hand, funneled into the space to meet with potential employers and recruiters to try to land job and internship interviews.
This year’s Spring Career Fair was the largest Liberty has hosted and was geared toward students in the fields of aeronautics, behavioral health sciences, business, IT/IS/cyber security, engineering, communications, law enforcement and government, according to Liberty’s website.
Representatives from the Liberty Fellowships in Washington, D.C., and New York City were also present.
Liberty student Brielle Hoagland works with the Fellowships at the Career Center and is a former Washington Fellow. She believes a career fair is an excellent opportunity for students to gain experience applying for jobs and internships.
“It creates the opportunity for students to succeed after graduation and build those skills (interviewing and applying) now in a safe environment where they can mess up on an interview question or be not sure how to engage an employer and come back next year and nail it,” Hoagland said.
Assistant Director of Employer Relations at the Career Center Matt Young said the career fair offered a unique opportunity for students to prepare for their future.
“We encourage students from any major or any school year to attend these fairs, not just seniors looking for jobs or juniors looking for internships,” Young said. “(The fairs are) for students now to get experience networking, engaging and building relationships with employers and learning how to communicate and conduct themselves in a professional manor in that setting.”
The Fellowships provided at Liberty through the Career Center help students learn more about their field in Washington, D.C., or New York City, before landing a full-time job.
“Internship placement programs are crucial to success, just like the career fair, but you’re living and working in one of these major cities and getting that real-life experience — understanding what your degree is actually going to turn into when you graduate,” Hoagland said. “You’re making those connections with employers and you’re also having a great time with other Liberty students in those cities.”
Young expressed the importance of underclassman attending career fairs and starting the job and internship search early.
“Students who are not looking for a job immediately will be at some point,” Young said. “It can be a good opportunity for freshmen or sophomores to get out there and start forming relationships with careers and learning about the opportunities that exist out there.”
When attending career fairs, Young said, it is important to be confident, bring a résumé, research the organizations in attendance and dress for the job you want.
“One of the positives but also challenges with our students at Liberty is our students are extremely hard working, but they are very humble,” Young said. “Humility can sometimes come across as a lack of confidence because they are not willing to promote themselves.”
He said they encourage students to be humble in spirit but confident in their abilities and experiences.
“Be able to market yourself and communicate in a way that shows why the company should hire you,” Young said.
Slaughter is a news reporter. Follow her on Twitter.