Career Fair draws new employers


Moses Rivers (right) is representing Americplan USA, one of the new businesses attending the fair.

Martha Armstrong, Staff Writer

More than 55 employers filled the Smith University Center Commons (UC) to network with more than 150 Francis Marion University (FMU) students and alumni at the Spring 2013 Career Fair.

At 12p.m. on Wednesday, April10th, students traded their jeans and t-shirts for business attire, entered the UC doors armed with resumes and navigated from table to table of prospective employers for a chance to be seen; a chance to impress.

Janice Smith, Administrative Assistant for the Career Development Department, has been organizing the bi-annual Career Fairs at FMU since 1998 and explains that this was the first time that all prospective employee tables were located in one room. Dr. Ronald Miller, Director of Career Development, and Smith both reported outstanding feedback from the Recruiter Evaluation forms about the event.

A few written comments from the employers were: “The event was well organized and professional.” And “Students were prepared and professional. I spoke with 40 students—more than I have ever had at an FMU career fair.”

Both Smith and Miller worked together to make this event happen. The Career Development Office has a database that contains approximately 466 companies/ businesses and 42 school districts they use to send invitations to. According to Smith, based on the past career fairs the school districts do the most hiring.

Sumter School District I Director of Personell, Dr. Denise R. Nixon, has attended the Fall FMU Career Fair six times, but was excited to be able to attend the Spring Fair for the first time to recruit teachers.

“Francis Marion is a fantastic school,” Nixon said. “We always get great results with the graduates we have hired due to the quality of education the school provides. Francis Marion has some of the greatest teachers.”

Miller encourages students to attend a fair before becoming a senior because it gives them some understanding of the job search process, is a great opportunity to start the networking process, and some employees may have positions or internships available that they are not advertising. These fairs give students the opportunity to not only seek a position with companies, but also through engaging in conversation with the business representatives, students may find out information about opportunities they would not otherwise know existed.

This is the case for McLeod Hospital System. Many people do not realize that there are so many job opportunities in various areas of the hospital such as business, administrative, public relations, the daycare center, computer technology, and many more, explained Program Director for McLeod Regional Medical Center School of Medical Technology, Vicki Anderson.

McLeod Healthcare Recruiter, Karen Kaercher, explained that with multiple hospitals and five campuses they are trying to attract people from the whole region.

“McLeod is a business; we have a business office. We have to see our patients, clean their rooms, change their sheets, hire staff, and train them. So, it is more than just doctors and nurses that we need. It is everything else too.” Kaercher said when talking about the variety of non-medical job opportunities available with McLeod Hospital System.

The 2013 Spring Fair was not just for potential employers, but also for attendees interested in continuing their education. There were multiple graduate school representatives from programs state-wide in attendance. Amongst these were Coastal Carolina, Charleston Southern University, the Citadel, and the FMU Graduate School.

There were five new companies this year: Americplan USA, CEC Foundation Trust, Inc., My Econ Inc., RBC Bearings, and Vemma Nutrition Company.

Miller was pleased with the success of the career fair and happily reported that some students told him at the fair that they had already obtained interviews.