Spring People to People Career Fair allows students to network and find professional opportunities

The People to People Career Fair took place Feb. 12. Students attended and spoke to different employers in search for full- and part-time positions.

Jill Olson

Armed with padfolios, heels and ties, students explored internships and networking opportunities Wednesday at the spring People to People Career Fair.

The career fair ran from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Scheman Building. It offered professional opportunities for mainly College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and College of Human Sciences students.

Breanna Chapin, junior in child, adult and family services, is an experienced attendee, having gone every semester for four years, but she admits even for her, the event can be intimidating.

“I actually was really nervous before I came up here, but I just walked upstairs,” Chaplin said “I had my resumes printed off and came here and talked to employers that I already knew to calm my nerves.”

With her was Nathan Buchsbaum, senior in child, adult and family services, who said he hoped to find a position in the local area.

“Candeo was telling me that they had positions open for both full time and internship,” Buchsbaum said. “And they were going to have a group dinner to give us, the people who are possible hires, a chance to understand where they want to go within Candeo.”

The talk about the opportunities at the career fair is more than just talk. Many students find internships and jobs for the semester and summer.

Sierra Shields, sophomore in psychology, is a third-time career attendee and found an opportunity last fall with Woodward Academy for this semester that she said she hopes will help her pursue career prospects in law enforcement.

“I think [my previous experience] helped me a lot to talk to them now having gained experience from an internship that I nailed down the last career fair,” Shields said. “Going to up to different law enforcement agencies and saying, ‘Hey, I have experience at Woodward’ because of the last career fair.’”

Among job seekers at the career fair, there are also students who aim to network with future employers. Molly Hunchis, freshman in event management, aimed to receive resume and career building advice from event companies like Entertainment Cruises.

“I’m looking to learn a lot more about internships and what to expect, how I can prepare for next semester and what to look for,” Hunchis said.

A common theme may be students’ desire to seek employment and network, but there are other connections to be made as well. Due to its name, many students believe careers are all the career fair offers, but Amanda Schickel, program coordinator with Human Sciences Student Services, rejected that.

“One thing to know with People to People is that it’s not just employers,” Schickel said. “We talk a lot about employers, but we actually have professional schools. Because of our colleges, we have students who want to go into health fields [and] law fields […], and we have to accommodate that.”

Those that plan and work the event is a team comprised of both Career Services faculty and students.

Brandie Paye, freshman in apparel, merchandising and design, volunteered for two hours at the career fair as an ambassador, and she used it as a networking opportunity.

“To volunteer, you can walk around here freely, just to meet people and get an understanding [by] helping people around,” Paye said. “Even if you’re not looking for an internship for the future, you can familiarize yourself with the people here.”

The People to People Career Fair is still a relatively new event with its first fair in spring 2013. Due to the fair’s newness, Alexis Elliott, program coordinator with Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Academic Services, approved of how the career fair changed in recent years.

“We always want the career fair to grow,” Elliott said. “We would like to try to get as many [majors] represented as possible.”