- By Ashley Ricks, Staff Writer -
Are you a graduating senior in the market for a job? Are you an underclassman looking for an internship to pertain to your major? Are you a college student in need of connections? If you are included in any of the groups listed above, then you are in luck because on Feb. 21, more than 90 employers will attend the Eastern North Carolina Career Alliance (ENCCA) Career Fair in order to recruit employees and interns for their company. The career fair will take place in the McKimmon Center, 1101 Gorman St, and Meredith will be offering shuttles to students throughout the day. Shuttle pickup will begin at 9 a.m. at Jones Chapel and be running approximately every 15 minutes. The career fair starts at 9 a.m. and lasts until 2 p.m., giving students plenty of time during the morning and early afternoon to take a break from campus and network. Examples of employers attending this year’s career fair include SAS, Merrill Lynch, LORD Corporation, NC Justice Center, school systems, and the Autism Society of NC.
Currently, the majority of jobs are filled through referrals and networking, which proves the importance of attending networking events while in college. The ENCCA Career Fair is the perfect event to start making connections and meeting possible, future employers. Katie Peterssen, a career counselor in the Office of Career Planning (OCP) recommends “arriving no later than 1:30pm to make the best use of the fair.” Students should stay for at least 30 minutes in order to take full advantage of the fair by talking to a wide variety of employers. Even though the career fair tends to appeal to upperclassmen, underclassmen can also benefit from attending the event as well. Peterssen suggest underclassmen visit the career fair to “explore career paths, ask the experts questions about their industries, and potential career pathways within their organization.”
The prospect of attending a career fair might seem a little daunting, but there are many tips student can follow to make attending these types of events painless. Peterssen strongly recommends students to prepare before going to any networking event. Preparing includes having your resume looked over the OCP, researching employers who will be at the fair, and practicing your personal introduction. Another tip for students is to look professional by wearing appropriate attire. Students have access to free professional attire through the Bargain Box. A student can stop by the OCP and pick up a voucher for the Bargain Box in order for the student to look and feel the part. The OCP will be helping students prepare for the career fair and students can stop by its office the day before the fair, Feb. 20, from 9 am.-4 p.m. Attending the career fair may not only land you a job, but it can also increase your network that may lead to better opportunities in the future.