Fair attracts employers

Victoria Briggs, Staff Writer

More than 130 students were given the opportunity to meet with 47 job recruiters on
Wednesday, Oct. 16 when Francis Marion University (FMU) hosted the annual fall Career Fair in
the Smith University Center (UC) from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Ronald Miller, director of Career Development, said the department was pleased with the
turnout and such high attendance is uncommon for fall fairs.
“It was a very high number of students to attend a fall career fair,” Miller said.  “It was
almost as much as the attendance for [last year’s] spring fair.”
Students of all majors could attend the fair because there was a range of different types of
employment opportunities.  Among other organizations, this year’s participants included school
districts, insurance companies and government facilities.  Employers such as AFLAC, SC
(Department of Health and Environmental Control) DHEC, SC Army National Guard and
McLeod Health were all in attendance for the fair.
Many of the companies and employers in attendance had participated in the fair in previous
years.  Miller said the department was initially expecting 53 organizations.  However, he
explained, the recent government shutdown prevented furloughed recruiters from attending.
“Most of those who did not attend were from federal agencies,” Miller said.  “Because of the
federal government shutdown and the federal budget sequester, those agencies were not able to
Miller said by bringing the employers to campus, students have a chance to make direct
contact with the organizations, and in many cases, this puts a student at more of an advantage as
opposed to submitting a “blind” resume.
“By bringing the employers here, they can see what the campus has to offer,” Miller said.  “It
also places the students in a more natural and comfortable setting.”
The fair also helps build up the networking process between students and employers, Miller
explained, as well as allows them to establish relationships with each other and become more
than “one-time correspondents.”
Denise R. Nixon, a representative from the Sumter School District, said she believed it was
extremely important for students to come to the fair.
“Students need to know options and to experience talking to and with employers.” Nixon
To increase their likelihood of establishing career connections and securing interviews,
students were asked to dress in business attire and to bring a number of resumes.  They were also
required to sign in at the table and wear name tags, which made it easier for recruiters to identify
When attending the Career Fair, Miller said students should treat it like an informal
interview and should do research about the employers beforehand.  He added that students
should be prepared and ready to convince recruiters why they should be hired.
Shuvonta Smalls, senior graphic design major, said she believed the career fair was helpful in
finding job opportunities after she graduates.
Another student, Brittany Anderson, senior history major, shared Smalls views and said the
Career Fair was successful for pre-interviews and knowing what type of positions employers are looking to fill.
Career Development and Student Affairs are responsible for organizing the fair.  To choose
the recruiters, Miller said he relies on personal contacts and previous recruiters.
To ensure the success of the fair each semester, Career Development and Student Affairs,
collects feedback from recruiters by distributing evaluation sheets.  The evaluations will be used
as reference for future fairs and will also assist the departments in selecting other potential
For more information about the participating organizations and career planning, students may
contact Career Development at 661-1678 or Miller at