This past week, students enrolled in the Career Development II course headed to a job fair held at Lake Sumter State College. This field trip afforded them the opportunity to survey the local job scene, make valuable contacts with professionals and employers in the area, and practice all the skills they have learned through the Career Development program!
Students attended a similar fair last fall in Career Development I, which was their first experience at a job fair. One of the goals at that time was to have the students become familiar with how to dress, how to present themselves, and how to communicate with employers. The students were actually complimented by participants for being the most professionally dressed group in the room.
At this second trip, students not only had the opportunity to gain some additional practice, those planning to stay in the area also were able to see what positions were available and make contacts with potential employers. Those students were asked to bring their resumes and to treat each employer interaction as a job interview.
A couple of the students had some luck at the job fair. Ali found out about a position as an Emergency Room Scribe—right up her alley since she’s is planning to go to medical school. Jake and Bill made some valuable contacts with the Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department; Jake is pursuing a career in law enforcement, and Bill is interested in working as a probation officer. Drake, who is currently a volunteer fireman and interested in pursuing a career as a full-time fireman, made a contact with a local fire safety company. All of these students are open to remaining in this area, and those who are planning on living elsewhere still appreciated the experience and the chance to practice interviewing and networking before graduation.
Student Minirth Ali remarked, “I am really thankful I went to the job fair yesterday. It was a great opportunity to meet with many employers and I was excited that there were so many employers from the medical field, which I am interested in. I may even have a job prospect. I would definitely recommend this job fair to future students.”
Other students commented on the valuable nature of the job fair, and both Kendal and I were impressed by the professionalism displayed by the group.