Career Center to host fall fair
Job, internship and networking opportunities will abound at Grand Valley State University’s Fall Career Fair, where participating companies are looking to fill nearly 8,000 job and internship positions.
The Fall Career Fair is one of two annual job fairs that the GVSU Career Center hosts.
Susan Proctor, employer development manager for the Career Center, said the center is expecting a variety of industries to be represented at the fair including government, health, manufacturing, criminal justice and nonprofit organizations.
“Our goal is to help shape students’ professional lives and to help increase their professional network,” Proctor said. “We want to connect employers and students.”
A misconception is that the fair is only for juniors and seniors who are looking for jobs or internships – any student can attend. Proctor said that while the fair is geared toward GVSU students, students from other local universities are invited as well.
At the fair, students will have the chance to talk to organizations and network with possible employers.
“I think the most important part of the fair is for students to get human contact with employers in the field of their choice,” Proctor said.
However, students don’t need to know what career they want after graduation to attend. The fair is also for students who are not sure what kind of opportunities will be open to them after graduation, Proctor said.
Proctor also said the Career Center continues to see more quality employers and job openings at career fairs.
While the fair is free for students to attend, organizations are required to pay a fee that differs based on the type of organization and what they intend to have with them at the fair. Proctor said that these fees are used to fund the fair’s use of the DeVos Place Convention Center and are offset by their main sponsoring company – Northwestern Mutual, a financial company.
Kayla Blaskowski, a junior and accounting major at GVSU, attended the fair as a student ambassador this past winter.
“I helped out people who needed help,” Blaskowski said. “It was a good way to practice networking and talking to people from all sorts of fields.”
Blaskowski advised students to take notes on the companies they are interested in before going to the career fair, as well as while they are there. She also suggests that students write follow-up thank you notes to keep in contact with companies and potential employers.
Students should go to the career fair even if they are not currently looking for a job because it is a “good opportunity to make yourself known in your field,” Blaskowski said.
Students looking to attend should plan to wear professional attire that is dictated by the type of organization they are hoping to connect with.
“Students looking for an art-related job might be more creative in what they wear than those looking for, say, an accounting job,” Proctor said.
Proctor reminds students to bring up-to-date resumes and said that students should contact the Career Center if they need any help in preparing for the fair.
The fair will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 15 in the DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids.
For more information, visit www.gvsu.edu/careers.