Annual job fair gets an upgrade

Photo by Lauren Lum

UMHB’s Career Services held the semi-annual Job and Internship Fair in the McLane Great Hall on the third floor of Bawcom Student Union on Tuesday, Oct. 2.
Previously, this job fair has been in the Lord Conference Center located in Parker Academic Center, but it was moved to the McLane Great Hall this year.
According to Career Services Director Don Owens, they decided to move the job fair because of the growing number of companies coming to the fair.
“Traditionally, we would have maybe 28-36 employers, and it was pretty cramped,” Owens said. “All of a sudden we have 46-48 employers. With the parking, we were going to have to take up 48 parking spaces [by Parker Academic Center]… As we grow these, we plan for them to be in the Great Hall in Bawcom because we had a little more room.”
Career Services switched from Cru Connection to Handshake over the summer. Handshake is an online job posting platform.
Through this site, students can schedule appointments with the Career Center, make a customized profile, look for jobs, schedule interviews with possible employers, and look up upcoming events from Career Services.
Career Services used Handshake for students to sign into the Job and Internship Fair with their student ID number. Upon signing in, students received name tags that included their name, major and degree.
Students turned in their resumes early to the Career Services team, who in turn made a resume book that they gave to each recruiter upon arrival.
Students spoke with representatives from various companies and groups including CGI, Fikes Company, the United States Marine Corps.
Other companies that sent representatives include Edward Jones, several local CPA firms, Dell, McLane Company, the Austin Police Force, and others.
According to Owens, approximately 139 students came to the career fair.
He hopes that the job fair will grow every year with the number of employers and students attending.
Owens believes that students shouldn’t wait until their junior or senior years to attend the job fair.
“Traditionally, we don’t think it’s ever too early to start going to the job fair. A lot of those companies like to start tracking students early,” Owens said. “It’s good for students to practice knowing how to introduce themselves and getting a feel for how job fairs work.”
He also said that recruiters are often impressed with UMHB students who attend the job fair.
“We are continuously told by recruiters that our students are well prepared,” Owens said.
Junior management major Michael Davis spoke to many of the companies at the job fair.
“Right now I’m just keeping my eyes open to find what might work for me and [to] try to get practical hours for the summer to graduate,” Davis said. “I’m actually a transfer, and the school I was at prior had job fairs, but not to this extent. I think it opens up a lot of doors to students by bringing something on campus, so we don’t have to search using Google.”
Financial advisor for Edward Jones, Don Haden, attended the university from 2001 and 2002.
He has been recruiting for Edward Jones around nine years.
“Dr. O’Rear has done a fantastic job at developing the university, and so did Dr. Bawcom before him,” Haden said. “Witnessing both those gentlemen create the environment here along with their teams that have worked with them has been nothing short of astonishing.”
“To be able to come out and interview the students is a way that I feel I can pay back to the university, to reach out, and hopefully in the process to pick up one or two for our firm,” Haden said.
“The culture here at the university aligns with the culture at our firm, and that’s what keeps us going.”

Author: Lauren Lum

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