The University of Connecticut’s Center for Career Developments virtual spring career fair will allow more students to have one-on-one conversations with employers, according to a career center official.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, any UConn undergraduate, graduate and recent alums, no matter what campus they attend, can sign into the virtual fair, Robert Volle, Center for Career Development’s corporate partner relations program director, said. The fair can be accessed from the Husky Mentor Network.
“In the past, the career fairs on the Storrs campus have run from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.,” Volle said. “Since we are now on a virtual platform, we expanded the hours to give our students and our employer partners more flexibility to ‘meet’ and talk.”
Before the fair, students need to register for the fair in Handshake and choose “join event,” Volle said. Students also need to sign up for the Husky Mentor Network if it is their first time using the platform.
After planned attendees register, they will need to research the companies and employers that they are interested in, Volle said. Once attendees have selected who they wish to talk to, they will schedule a 10 minute appointment with the employer based on the employer’s calendar posted on Husky Mentor Network.
“The students will be able to talk with the employer one-on-one, live and in real time,” Volle said. “Once they select a time to talk with an employer and the employer confirms the ‘appointment’ the meeting link will be set up in Husky Mentor Network. At the appropriate time, the student can launch the meeting from their laptop or PC.”
Attendees can have a maximum of 10 meetings scheduled at one time, Volle said. After they attend a meeting, they can add more.
Attendees also need to submit their resume to Husky Mentor Network for employers to see before their scheduled meeting, Volle said.
“Employers are going to want to see your resume,” Volle said. “At the same time, [students should] have it available for themselves because they might be asked specific questions.”
There are approximately 60 companies who will be attending the fair, Volle said. Some of these companies include Amazon, Hartford HealthCare and Pratt & Whitney. A full list is available on the Center for Career Development website.
The shift to the virtual career fair was made after President Thomas Katsouleas announced that classes will be online for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester and that no events larger than 50 people would be permitted at any UConn location. Volle said that making the fair accessible online allowed students to still utilize on-campus resources without being on campus.
“The shift UConn has made to an online learning environment, coupled with the cancellation of in-person events, has created many unknowns for students,” he said. “The Center for Career Development is doing everything we can to provide career-related services to students and alumni.”
If any technical mishaps happen during the fair, the Center for Career Development already has some plans in place, Volle said. There is going to be a Google Hangout page for employers to communicate with each other if they are having issues. For attendees, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org. The email account will be monitored all day long.
Volle said that reactions to the fair switching to the online format have been “very positive.”
“So far, our employer partners are excited about this opportunity to connect with our students,” Volle said. “Students are already making appointments to talk with employers during the Virtual Career Fair.”
Volle said that if attendees are fully prepared, they will enjoy the virtual fair.
“The things to do before are making sure the laptop is fully charged or plugged in, nothing dramatic or intense behind you and [being] prepared to have a nice conversation with employers,” he said.
Rachel Philipson is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.