The Maryville College Career Center, in partnership with local businesses, organizations and educational institutions, is presenting this year’s Career & Internship Fair in the Clayton Center for the Arts Foyer on Thursday, November 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. While this is a highly anticipated event for students at MC, there will be some modifications due to the ongoing presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This will be Maryville College’s very first “no-contact” Career Fair. Elicia Ferrer, Communications & Employer Relations Coordinator at the Career Center, provides more insight into what students could expect overall from this event.
This will be a “contactless networking event,” according to Ferrer, meaning that students are encouraged to greet organizations with a wave but avoid any form of physical contact like a handshake. Some additional precautions students should anticipate are the limited capacity for organizations at the event and an emphasis on physical distancing.
“Booths will be distanced according to guidelines set by the Clayton Center for large-scale events and attending organizations are limited to two representatives,” Ferrer said.
This year, the Career Fair will be limited to only 40 organizations, a reduction from previous years’ capacity of 60. All attendees will be required to wear a mask as per the Maryville College COVID-19 guidelines for all indoor spaces.
Since these new regulations will be a big adjustment from previous years, Maryville College offered students the opportunity to attend a PREPARE Fair. This event was designed to “coach students about networking at contactless events,” said Ferrer.
The PREPARE Fair was held on Tuesday, October 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Clayton Center for the Arts Foyer. Since this will be Maryville College’s first contactless Career Fair, the Career Center wanted to ensure students are well-equipped and prepared for the event.
At the PREPARE Fair, students had the chance to learn about how to build an exceptional resume and dress appropriately for the event, as well as an opportunity to practice their professional pitch. Students could sign up online for 30-minute time slots to attend the PREPARE Fair.
For many students, attending a Career Fair is an essential piece of their Maryville College Works checklist. For others, it is a beneficial resource as they prepare to navigate their professional post-college lives.
“It’ll help me seek more ideas on how to use my degree,” shares Austin Olhasso, a junior who will be attending the event for the first time. “It helps keep our degrees relevant to what we want to do professionally.”
Sara Koonce, a junior transfer student, is also looking forward to attending.
“Personally, I enjoy talking with employers about a business first, so this event is perfect for me,” said Koonce. “I want to see personable people that make it a welcoming yet professional environment.”
However, COVID precautions, while necessary, may make creating connections with organizations and potential employers more of a challenge.
“We will all have to wear masks which will make it harder to be personable,” Koonce added, “We won’t be able to read facial expressions and nonverbal cues as well with masks.”
New COVID precautions are certainly an adjustment from the previous year’s
networking events, and connecting with organizations and employers may look different than it has in the past. Students are still hopeful for a safe and enriching experience at this year’s Career Fair, however.
Students can visit the Maryville College website to learn more about the Career & Internship Fair and see a comprehensive list of organizations that will be attending. Attendees can register for the event through Handshake.