Sixth-annual career fair proves successful

Northwestern Mutual was one of many nationally recognized companies and organizations seeking students for future employment and internships. Photo by Chloe Kennedy

Last Thursday, Feb. 21, Maryville College held its sixth-annual career fair in the Alumni Gym.

Rusty Winchester, director of discernment at the Center for Calling and Career, explained that the event was a success, as the employers were just as excited to meet MC students as the student were to connect with them.

“Half of the companies [at the fair] …  are returning from last year because they feel so good about our students, some of whom they’ve hired before,” Winchester said.

To encourage hiring companies to return year after year, Winchester emphasized the importance of having many students come to the career fair, ensuring the companies by strength of numbers that they will find suitable candidates for their available positions.

“But it’s not just the quantity of students here; it’s the quality,” Winchester said.

The graduate schools which attended the career fair searching for students who wish to continue their educations would agree.

In all, 10 grad schools came to the fair.

According to Laurie Gauthier, a recruiter from Southern Adventist University, MC students carry an impressive reputation to potential employers and graduate programs.

“Our university has one of your alumni working as a graduate assistant with us, and she’s a great student and a great person,” Gauthier said. “Maryville has good students.”

A recruiter from Lee University agreed: “I enjoy coming here not only to recruit, but because the students are so exciting to talk to.”

After meeting with potential employers, students were optimistic.

Junior Taylor Wilson viewed his trip through the career fair as practice for a senior-year job hunt.

“Hopefully, next year I’ll be on it,” Wilson said.

MC seniors of every field of study were also pleased with the various opportunities presented at the career fair.

Environmental studies major Thomas Finn said he had found “lots of opportunities” at the career fair, while business major Taylor Heine was focused on her networking.

“I’m making lots of great connections,” Heine said.

For those pursuing interviews, going to other career fairs or planning to attend MC’s fair next year, Winchester advises students to put a lot of detailed effort into their preparations.

“Dress professionally,” Winchester said. “When you approach a table, be prepared to stick your hand out and introduce yourself. Since our list of employers is online, students should research potential meetings.”

While this is the last career fair for most seniors, Winchester encourages underclassmen to get involved, regardless of what years they are.

“It’s never too soon to come to the career fair,” Winchester said.

Sophomores and juniors can get valuable job-hunting experience, while any penny-pinched student can apply for a summer job.

Underclassmen are also encouraged to begin planning for next year’s fair, scheduled for Thursday, March 7, 2013.

The career fair is hosted annually by the CCC, which offers services to assist students in their fulfillment.

Students can drop by the CCC office without an appointment on Wednesdays from 9- 11 a.m. and Thursdays from 2- 4 p.m. or by appointment to work on resume writing, job searching and interview skills.

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