The team in the Career Development Center have been busily planning the first Beacon College Career Fair. While students in the Career Development Program have been exposed to the career fair environment at multiple regional venues, Kimberly McCormick, Career Development Placement Coordinator, recognized the critical need to hold an on-campus event. Current Beacon College students as well as alumni are welcome to attend the fair on Friday, April 17th, from 10am-2pm. Companies slated to attend include prestigious ones such as JetBlue Airways, JP Morgan, and Lockheed Martin.
The timing of this event was intended to provide a chance for as many people connected with the College to attend as possible. Susan Ward, Coordinator of Career Development & Outreach, states, “As Beacon College grows, it is important that we offer the same opportunities that other colleges offer. The timing of the career fair is aligned close to graduation but also with the Alumni Reunion as alumni planning to attend this occasion may also be looking for positions or networking connections.”
To prepare students at Beacon for this upcoming event, Susan Ward offered a workshop open to both current students and alumni to introduce participants to the expectations of this environment. This was well attended and well received by participants, who now feel more confident and prepared for the career fair. Senior Robert Barnett states, “It was very informative and I learned what you need to wear, what you need to bring, and how you should act during a career fair.” Robert notes that key factors were reviewed during this session. For instance, students were reminded to dress professionally, with men advised to wear a suit or slacks and a nice button down shirt, and females encouraged to wear a nice dress or dress pants and a fancy shirt. Participants at any career fair should bring multiple copies of their resume, and be prepared with questions to ask the employers for each business, along with conversation starters and a short speech on what type of position the job seeker is seeking and qualified for. Above all, participants should act professionally during a career fair, and maintain a calm, poised demeanor. All of this reinforced what students have been learning in their classes, through the Career Development Program.
In addition to the preparation offered by this workshop, on Thursday, April 16th, JP Morgan will be on campus to offer a more detailed overview of positions available at their company. Students will also be given an opportunity to ask any questions they may have in order to determine if the positions offered are the best fit for them. The venue is the Chopping Block, and pizza will be served during this informational session. This casual environment should make students feel comfortable in asking any pressing questions they may have. The team in the Career Development Center are also available to work with students on an individual basis, helping them to create and strengthen resumes, practice interviewing, and plan according to their unique needs and career paths.
At the Beacon College Career Fair, freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to attend to receive some practice with this set up and to practice the fundamental skills they have been learning in the beginning Career Development courses. Juniors may be looking for internship possibilities and get a start on understanding what types of positions may be available to them when they graduate. Junior Griffin Boven has already held two internship positions, with the Beacon College Library and the Hampton Inn, and he is preparing to begin a third internship, with Sea World, in May. Griffin is hoping to line up another internship, one for the fall, after his summer one with Sea World has ended. He is hoping that the Beacon College Career Fair will introduce him to possibilities to further expand his already considerable and diverse job skills.
Seniors, of course, have the most to gain from this experience as many are now feeling the pressure to land a good job. Even those not planning to stay in the area will benefit from the opportunity to practice their skills and to get an idea for how to act at a career fair. Student Mitch Pospyhalla says, “Business connections are a necessity when it comes to planning for your career, and this provides a great opportunity for that, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
At Beacon College, the Career Development Program is a cornerstone of the academic model. The four-year model introduced in the fall of 2014 is designed to prepare Beacon students for their future career path. Coursework and internship experiences give students the opportunity to determine which career they are best suited for and to plan the appropriate steps for achieving their goals. The Beacon College Career Fair will permit students yet another chance to add to their portfolio of career building skills.
~Robert Barnett & Gretchen Dreimiller
Photos Courtesy of Heather Reed