The University of Southern Mississippi’s Career Services hosted its annual Career Fair on Feb. 21, allowing all students and alumni to network with a large number of employers in the Thad Cochran Center.
USM’s Career Services designed the Career Fair for students to learn about future jobs, discover internship opportunities, network, present resumes and make impressions with local and state businesses. The fair provided students an opportunity to explore a variety of careers while looking for a professional position.
“We tell every student whether you’re a first semester freshman or last semester senior to come,” said Career Services Marketing Specialist Tonya Williams. “Sometimes, if you have never had experience at a fair, it can be uncomfortable to walk up to a table and talk to an employer.”
Nearly 100 employers from a variety of industries prepared booths to potentially hire students for full-time, part-time, on-campus and off-campus jobs.
In preparation for their job fairs, Career Services provides a resource center containing information on careers related to particular majors. They also host workshops and on- campus mock interviews to help prepare students for a successful experience at the fairs.
“I was very nervous walking into this because I am looking for internship opportunities,” said sophomore fashion merchandising student Tori Jones.
Jones said attending job fairs is great practice for her.
“I think it’s a good experience to see what kind of jobs are out there and go ahead and get a jump-start on building relationships early,” she said.
The workshops provided for students focus on giving extra attention to whichever skills they need to improve. Counselors gather with students to concentrate on resumes, elevator pitches and give personal attention on how to nail an interview and get the job.
Badge Pass Executive Vice President of Technology Christian Eaton said the company has four job openings and that they came to the career fair because they are looking for college graduates.
“We didn’t want to hire off of a text site or go to a headhunter about it,” Eaton said. “We wanted to personally be able to talk them, talk about their majors, tell us what they’ve learned and just get that one on one with them.”
Several employers like Badge Pass said they are looking to hire students within the next three to four months.
“This fair is a unique opportunity to get some face time with employers, otherwise, under most circumstances, there would be a barrier,” Eaton said.
The list of employers is provided on the university’s Career Services webpage to allow students to prepare for specific employers pertaining to their major and to find exactly who is hiring for what position. Students can look forward to the Career Fair twice a year or once a semester.
For more information on what to do before, during and after a job fair interview, visit usm.edu/career-services.