Although the school year has only just started, many students are already in a panic to obtain jobs and internships for next summer. Other students exist in a state of perpetual denial as application deadlines slip by. The Center for Career Development held a Career Fest Tuesday in order to raise awareness to the assistance they can provide students as they navigate job interviews and resources like LinkedIn, as well as provide much-needed fun to the second week of school.
“We’re getting them [the students] here with the food and the t-shirts, but while they’re here they’ll be going to various different tables talking about who we are, what we do, the upcoming Career Fair, all the different services we provide not only on our Storrs campus but on all our regional campuses,” said Jim Lowe, the assistant vice provost and executive director for the Center for Career Development.
The Center for Career Development partnered up with United Technologies (UTC) for this event, since UTC is one of their biggest corporate partners in the state of Connecticut for jobs. Lowe broke down the Career Fest into two main goals: Raising awareness about the Center for Career Development and exposing students to UTC.
“[We want to raise] awareness of the Center for Career Development, the work that we do, how we can assist students with their career planning, their career awareness, researching industries, researching jobs, all those types of things,” Lowe said.
When students arrived at the fest, they were given black bracelets which allowed them to eat any of the free food — pretzels, burgers, corn dogs, cotton candy, Dairy Bar ice cream — and a “Party Pass” which, once they got all six tables stamped, allowed them to get a free t-shirt and other free gifts. These tables featured United Technologies, Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney and three games. There were also a few inflatables, including an obstacle course and a bull-riding game.
One of these tables was run by “Connecting Commuters with Careers,” which hosted a big game of Jenga and Connect-Four.
“[Connecting Commuters with Careers] is where we try to get commuters and off-campus students to come into the Career Center Office to do resume critiques, how to do job interviews, they can do mock elevator pitches — so just trying to help our commuter students to get jobs after college is our connection,” said Jenna Light, a seventh-semester marketing major and employee at Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services.
Light was happy to play games and hang out with the students, while also providing them the information they’ll need to get jobs once college is over.
Like many of the students who showed up for the Career Fest, third-semester psych major Devon Murphy came to the Career Fest as a first step on her search for an internship for next summer.
“[I came] to learn about the careers and stuff, you know, just looking to see what I can do,” Murphy said.
The impressive turnout for the Career Fest is expected to be eclipsed by the two-day long Career Fair three weeks from now.
“On each day [of the Career Fair] we anticipate 150 employers here on campus, so a total of 300 over those two days,” Lowe said. “One of the days is focused on careers in STEM, the other is a more general career fair.”
So if you couldn’t make it to the Career Fest, or if you want to start finding employers now, come to the Career Fair on Sept. 25 and 26 in Gampel. Otherwise, feel free to visit the Center for Career Development for assistance in any of the tricky steps to finding your next big job or internship.
Rebecca Maher is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.