Approximately 200 students went to the Career Fair in professional attire with resumes in hand to speak with employers about job opportunities on Wednesday, April 6 in the University Center.
“The Career Fair is an opportunity for students to develop their professional skills and learn how to talk about themselves, how to ask employers questions and how to interact with people professionally,” Director of Career Development Dollie Newhouse said.
The Career Fair is sponsored by the Office of Career Development and is held in the spring and fall of each semester. It is designed for students to network with employers and find out about various job opportunities.
Forty-seven organizations attended the Career Fair. Several local businesses were in attendance, such as Carolinas Hospital System, McLeod Regional Medical Center, The City of Florence and Florence District One Schools.
Graduate schools were present for students interested in pursuing an advanced degree. Francis Marion University, Coastal Carolina University, The Citadel, and Charleston School of Law were in attendance, along with various other universities.
FMU alumni were also present at the Career Fair to recruit students for their companies. This allowed students to see that they can be successful and find a job in the slow economy if they are persistent and don’t limit their career opportunities.
FMU alumnus Zane Petty, a 2010 graduate, was recruiting students for Prudential Insurance. Petty said it was good to have fellow alumni present recruiting students so they can get a perspective from a former student of the university about how they can become successful in their job search.
“I know that there are very rigorous studies at Francis Marion, and if you can do that kind of stuff then you can be successful in life,” Petty said.
Students along with representatives were very impressed with the Career Fair.
“Several recruiters commented on the appearance of the students.” Newhouse said. “I was impressed to see the students offering their resumes to employers, and I was very pleased with the students’ appearance.”
Linda Goode, Case Management Coordinator of the Federal Correction Institution- Williamsburg said that she was very impressed with how prepared and professional the students were.
Goode said she was very impressed with the students studying criminal justice because they were prepared with questions and were dressed professionally. Goode also said the Career Fair staff was very helpful with offering any assistance they may have needed.
Senior finance major Alex Adams commented on his experience at the Career Fair.
“I feel I had a very positive experience at the Career Fair,” Adams said. “Most of the companies I spoke with were hiring and seemed eager about hiring college students.”
Newhouse offered advice for students currently searching for jobs.
“It is really important when looking for jobs that students are proactive and that students go out and make opportunities for themselves,” Newhouse said. “Posting a resume and hoping that someone is going to see it will not get you far in today’s market.”
Petty also stressed the importance of looking for jobs early.
“Don’t wait around until you graduate start your job search early,” Petty said.
It took Petty approximately three to six months to hear back from various companies that he applied to.
Colby Sarvis, a senior majoring in finance, said that it is important that students are prepared and know how to sell themselves to companies.
“Students need to know how to sell themselves and let the companies know that they need you as an employee,” Sarvis said.
Another student said that networking is another important factor in finding a job and can help procure various different career opportunities.
“I am a true believer that it is not what you know but who you know,” Justin Smith, a junior finance major, said.
“Students should remain open to job offers,” Newhouse said. “Even though it may not be the dream job you want, still take the job because you don’t know what opportunities that job may have.”
Students are encouraged to visit the Office of Career Development to obtain information about careers, job searches, resumes and mock interviews.