Employers look to recruit at final career fair

Ashanka Kumari

 

The University of Alabama Career Center will host the final career fair of the school year today in the Ferguson Center Ballroom from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Various employers representing local and national companies will be actively recruiting students for open positions.

Mary Lowrey, Career Center assistant director, said career consultants from the UA Career Center along with several volunteers from Student Affairs will operate practice stations called “Prep Steps” for students going into the career fair in the ballroom.

“After hearing employers say that students need to work on soft skills including handshake, eye-contact and delivery of a 30-second introduction, we decided to offer practice stations,” Lowrey said.

Although this is the first time the career center has offered “Prep Steps,” they piloted a similar program at the recent Education Interview day, Lowrey said.

“Employers gave very positive feedback so we knew we wanted the effort to continue with our larger career fairs,” she said.

The goal of “Prep Steps,” Lowrey said, is to send every career fair attendee into the ballroom professionally dressed and prepared to demonstrate soft skills.

Students who research the employers in advance will make a much better impression when they talk with the recruiters, Lowrey said.

“Recruiters expect students to know the basics about their organizations and they will think more favorably of a student who can talk about specifics as opposed to a student who approaches them and asks, ‘What does your company do?’” she said.

“We talk about these skills throughout the year and engage students in practice, but we realize not every student has been to the Career Center or to one of our presentations,” Lowrey said.

Brandon Bowen, manager of Employer Relations, said the companies at the career fair are not necessarily the same companies that came to the fall event.

“We’ve got some variety that maybe [students] haven’t had the chance to meet before even if they’ve attended career fairs,” Bowen said.

An expected 55-60 companies will be represented at this event.

“Everything from engineering to business, arts and sciences and everything in between,” Bowen said.

A list of the companies expected to be at the career fair can be found at career.ua.edu/employers/calendar.cfm.

“We encourage all students to attend to meet employers they may want to target later on or to begin networking, which is a key strategy in looking for a job and learning about opportunities,” Lowrey said.