Ainara Eizaguirre Irastorza
FMU’s Career Center introduced students to job opportunities offered throughout the Carolinas by hosting a career fair from 1-3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov 10, in the Smith University Center (UC).
“It is an opportunity to match the business community beyond just the local Florence community with Francis Marion students,” said Will Carswell, director of the Career Center. “Giving them the opportunity to find out more information about possible jobs, part-time jobs, internships, and just the experience of talking to an employer is good whether they’re looking for a job or not.”
Carswell said over 70 employers came to the event, most of which were looking to fill the gaps within their payroll.
“Because so many employers are needing employees right now, we had no problem filling out the gym and the University Center… Everything is represented,” Carswell said.
The Career Center worked to incorporate employers and job opportunities from North and South Carolina to offer a wider range of careers for students.
“It’s not just within the Florence area. It reaches out over the entire state [of South Carolina] and North Carolina as well,” said Aylin Kruse, graduate assistant for the Career Center. “With the employers, it’s been a good turn-out. It’s good that we’re able to get this room and the other room filled up with possible employment for students or any opportunity that they could offer the students.”
Together, Carswell and Kruse came up with the list of the different employers that came to the fair: health care, education, law enforcement, state and federal agencies, recreational businesses, counseling services, restaurants, insurance, county agencies and city governments.
Jonathan Murray, a senior political science major, said he had a conversation with a U.S. Marshall. Interested in law enforcement, Murray said he was pleasantly surprised to see law enforcement present at the fair.
“He was the first person I talked to, I looked around a little bit, and I went to him,” Murray said. “I previously knew a little bit about it, but I learned more about how federal law enforcement works and the pay scales and the day-to-day activities… I’m particularly looking at law enforcement in general, so it was nice to see them here.”
Murray said he appreciated the laid-back atmosphere of the career fair because it allowed him to learn more about potential job opportunities in the area.
“I think it’s cool, you have people coming in, and it’s like small interviews,” Murray said. “It’s less formal, and you can talk to anybody. It’s a more relaxed situation; you get a better feel for the job, and what you want to do, so it helps with that.”
Dasia Council, a sophomore English major with a track in education, said she went to just about every education table. She said she felt welcomed and encouraged to talk to the employers because they seemed to be genuinely interested in future education workers.
“It showed me how many opportunities there actually are,” Council said. “It’s the best visual indication. They encouraged me a lot. They told me all the different opportunities and how much they’re needed, so I feel like I can have a job when I leave without struggling. They provide some inspiration, motivation [and] drive.”
The career fair provided many students with an opportunity to gauge their career options both after and during college. With large amounts of employers and businesses taking part in the event, there were plenty of jobs offered to those who sought them. In addition to the occasional career fairs, students may find more opportunities through Handshake, a job search platform partnered with the FMU Career Center, specifically offered to students to aid in locating jobs.