Seventy-one employers set up information tables in the Smith University Center (UC) commons area and gymnasium and spoke with FMU students and alumni about potential employment.
The semi-annual career fair was organized by FMU’s Office of career development and held on April 13. The head of career development, Dr. Ronald Miller, said that this was potentially the best career fair hosted by FMU.
“We have the largest number of employers registered at this particular fair,” Miller said.
According to Miller, career development has a large database of employers.
Miller said the career fair is a professional networking opportunity for students, alumni and professional openings to come together. The career fair’s purpose is to give the FMU community occasion where they can find employment positions in and around the Pee Dee area, internship opportunities and graduate program opportunities.
Brandi McBrayer, junior professional writing major and undergraduate assistant in career development, emphasized the importance of this event for students looking for jobs after graduation.
“If you are planning on staying in Florence, you can find out about jobs with companies you’ve never heard of,” McBrayer said. “The company ACS Technologies that I am interning for is accepting full-time position applications.”
Sophomore business major Bejal Patel said that this event is not only for graduating seniors.
“It is not too early to look for where you want to work and start looking at different types of businesses available,” Patel said.
Career development advertised that students who wished to attend the career fair needed to be dress professionally and have their resumes ready. Dressing well was a concern of both students attending and employers.
“A lot of people are going to show up in jeans and T-shirts,” McBrayer said.
“In reality, you have huge opportunities to make professional connections.”
According to several of the employers in attendance at the career fair, these connections are only going to be successful if students dressed for the job they want.
“We look for students to be well-dressed and asking a lot of questions,” Jason Steen, a representative of the Camp Pee Dee Retreat Center, said.
Sales Manager Brian Richardson from WFXB FOX TV also said that appearance and demeanor was important.
“I look for students who are clean cut, well-spoken and confident,” Richardson said.
Career development also encourages potential attendees of the career fair to do prior research on the companies that they are interested in talking to.
Interactions with potential employers are more likely to be successful if students have done their homework before going to the career fair.
Some of the employers stated that FMU students had more than met their standards and expectations.
“The FMU students have really impressed me,” said senior Patrol Officer Oscar Merchant, who was at the career fair as a representative of the City of Florence Police Department. “They come prepared. They look prepared. They have their questions prepared. I have just been really impressed.” There were a couple suggestions as to what could be done to improve the career fair.
“It is very education based, which is great if you are an education major, but I wish there were more diverse opportunities for different majors,”Julian Charney, a junior psychology major, said. “The people here are very open though and willing to look beyond the traditional majors for a position.”
Miller said he hopes that this career fair, featuring the most employers ever, will be successful for the FMU community in filling open positions.
For information on the employers who attended the fair, see the career development webpage. Career development offers sessions for students and alumni to help build and improve their resume. To learn more, visit http://www. fmarion.edu/students/career.