In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Career Center’s annual Career, Internship and Volunteer Fair is one of the many events which has been moved to a virtual platform. The Virtual Career Fair, organized by Assistant Director of Employer and Alumni Relations Mandy Netzel, will be held on Oct. 7 from 4-7 p.m.
According to Netzel, the career fair gives students the opportunity to meet with employers and non-profits, creating a connecting point. On the day of the fair, students will meet with employers via Handshake at a predetermined time.
Students can register for the Virtual Career Fair via their Handshake account by selecting the “Career Fairs” option under the “Events” tab. Once students register for the career fair, they will also need to register separately with any employer or non-profit that they would like to meet with on that day. If this sounds confusing, don’t worry. According to Netzel, there will be an orientation on Oct. 6 at 11:15 a.m. to instruct students on how to navigate the virtual fair. There are no restrictions to participate in the career fair, so students from any class or major are welcome to participate. Netzel explained that registration is open throughout the fair, but early registration will help ensure that students have the opportunity to meet with their preferred employer or organization.
Switching from an in-person format to a virtual format also means that there will be some logistical differences in the fair. In the past, once you registered for the event, you could just walk up to employers at the career fair. Since this is not possible this year, Netzel states that it will be important for students to do their homework and decide which employers they want to meet with and practice their elevator pitch ahead of time. Further, in order to avoid any technological glitches, Netzel emphasizes that it is important to make sure that devices are up to date before the event.
Even though it will be virtual, Netzel is confident there will still be a wide variety of employers and non-profit representatives in attendance at this year’s career fair. Organizations, ranging from Boldt and Nicolet Bank to the Peace Corps and Uncommon Schools, will be available to meet with students. A complete listing of the 20 organizations attending can be found on Handshake.
“If you are interested in a particular organization but don’t see a specific opportunity listed, don’t hesitate to register to learn more,” Netzel said. “Employers are open to general exploration.”
For students like sophomore Aasma Haider, the Virtual Career Fair seems like an opportunity to build contacts for future employment. Haider, as a new transfer student this term, is excited to embrace new opportunities and life at Lawrence.
“I transferred to Lawrence to seek out many opportunities to be more involved within the community and to better educate myself on potential careers, and the Virtual Career Fair will be a great start for me,” Haider said.