INAUGURAL COLLABORATIVE VIRTUAL CAREER FAIR A SUCCESS
SOMERS - UW-Parkside, Carthage College, Gateway Technical College and Herzing University hosted their inaugural collaborative Virtual Career Fair on October 8, 2020, via the career platform Handshake. This year was not only the first time the four institutions have collaborated on the event, but was also UW-Parkside’s first-ever virtual Internship and career fair.
The fair was open to all currently enrolled students as well as recent alumni from the institutions. Thirty-five registered employers were in attendance during this year’s fair, with 185 total student attendees. During the event, employers had the opportunity to connect with students and recent alumni via live streaming information sessions, one-on-one interviews, skills-matched candidate searches, and access to resumes.
This unprecedented partnership was made possible after the Handshake team created an online platform for events/fairs, in response to the pandemic. Although UW-Parkside has been utilizing the Handshake platform for several years now, Carthage just joined this past year, and Herzing and Gateway joined on this summer. Once all universities were on board, this collaborative effort came together.
Registered employers were thrilled about the benefits of working with all four Kenosha area colleges in a collaborative fair. An anonymous survey distributed after the events yielded responses like, “The more students, the better,” and “I think it’s great and allows employers to reach more students.” Employers had access to a large pool of candidates in one place and didn’t have to struggle with coordinating attendance at four separate events.
Students benefitted from the new format and the wealth of opportunities. “The virtual fair enabled me to easily participate in employer group sessions and interviews in between a busy day of classes and work. I enjoyed learning about specific careers within these organizations and meeting recruiters,” said Frank Bevec, a UW-Parkside student majoring in Marketing.
Renee Young-Trego, Assistant Director of the Advising and Career Center, Young-Trego has maintained that faculty collaboration is paramount to a campus successfully hosting a career event. “Faculty members spend the most time with our students and are seen as industry experts – their support is invaluable and we are lucky to have a wonderful group of Ranger faculty helping us prepare our students for their careers,” said Young-Trego.
Linda Bevec, UW-Parkside’s Employer Relations Coordinator, added that although unemployment has risen in recent months, many of the employer partners have indicated they are still hiring. In these uncertain times, persistence and adaptability are very important in the job search process. Bevec emphasized, “Students may need to shift gears and consider other jobs and companies, but jobs are out there and I think all four colleges are really encouraging their students and graduates to assess their skills, education and experiences and be open to a variety of opportunities.”
Employer Relations Coordinator
University of Wisconsin-Parkside
900 Wood Road Kenosha, WI 53144
262-595-2016 | firstname.lastname@example.org