3-day Virtual Career Fair Exceeded All Expectations
The College of Technology continues its commitment to producing graduates who are career-ready. In fact, 72% of graduates from the college have a job or job offer in hand at graduation. One aspect of this commitment is the work done by the college’s Career Services office to produce the best possible career fairs for CoT students.
Deciding how to handle a career fair during a pandemic was a daunting task, but one that CoT Career Services met with determination and creative thinking. Rather than just a one-day career fair, Career Services developed a 3-day Virtual Career Fair that allowed students to target the companies that are hiring graduates in their major, while also giving them the flexibility to explore industries they might not have previously considered.
Each of the three days focused on a different section of technology employers. Day One of the virtual fair took place on September 8, with employers from Information Technology, Digital Media, and Health and Biotech industries. On September 15, Day Two included employers from Engineering, Energy, and Construction Management companies. Finally, Day Three, September 22, focused on the fields of Technology Management, Transportation and Logistics, Human Resource Development, and Retailing.
Students were able to sign up for 10-minute interview slots with company recruiters, allowing them one-on-one time with companies that had open positions for graduates from their majors. Recruiters also held 30-minute information sessions with a capacity of 50 students per session. These sessions allowed students to learn more about companies before signing up for an interview. In all, 69 employers participated in the event, conducting 56 information sessions and 2,071 one-on-one interviews with 820 students.
CoT Students speak with recruiters at an in-person Career Fair in 2019
This semester’s Virtual Career Fair was successful in part due to the use of the Handshake platform, which allowed employers to set their schedules in advance. Christal Pradia, Career Development Specialist for CoT, stated that, “the Handshake platform and technical support provided career centers, employers and students an easy to use platform for recruiting.” Handshake also provided training materials for employers and students, which Ms. Pradia made available on the CoT Career Service website to ease the transition to the virtual environment.
Jagdeep Chadha, Executive Director of Student Affairs, agreed that the choice of platform for the virtual fair contributed to its success. “The Virtual Career Fair platform Handshake has provided requires students to be more proactive since they have to sign up for sessions prior to the Virtual Career Fair. That also requires students to research the companies they want to target and make sure their resume and professional profile are well developed. This is a much more structured environment compared to the chaos of a face to face Career Fair environment with long lines.”
Switching to a virtual platform required a lot of behind the scenes work to make sure everything ran smoothly, but the Career Services staff were able to rise to the challenge with resounding success.