Winter career fair taking place this week

By Annie Giffels | 2/19/18 2:20am

GVL / Luke Holmes - Students line up for registration. The career fair was held in the Devos Place Thursday, Feb. 26, 2016.

Coming to the Devos Place Convention Center on Thursday, Feb. 22, is this year's winter career fair. The career fair is a biannual event that happens every fall and winter semester at Grand Valley State University and attracts thousands of students and recent graduates from all over Grand Rapids. 

The winter semester career fair is different from the fall event. Held in conjunction with this career fair will be the health career expo. The expo is a way for students and alumni with health-care majors to find career opportunities, while the career fair focuses more on those with any other type of major. 

“Typically, we have the health-care emphasis during the winter career fair,” said Susan Proctor, employer development manager for the GVSU Career Center. “A lot of our health-related programs are clinical based, which makes it hard for certain employers to attend in the fall.”

Starting at 1 p.m., more than 230 employers from all backgrounds will be recruiting students and alumni alike for different opportunities, such as full-time positions, internships, co-ops and more. 

“There are multiple reasons to come to an event like this," Proctor said. "Whether you’re seeking a part-time job or a summer job, an internship or volunteer work, this event is going to help. ...

“Even younger students, like freshmen, are encouraged to come, if only to just get a preview of what to look for and start networking.”

Expected to wrap up around 5 p.m., this event will be packed full of students and recent graduates from multiple schools, not just GVSU. 

Though the fair is sponsored by GVSU, students and alumni of the different colleges in the Grand Rapids area are invited to attend, including from Aquinas College, Calvin College, Cornerstone University, Hope College, Kendall College of Art and Design, and Kuyper College.

“As a public institution, Grand Valley doesn’t turn anyone away; all students are welcome,” said Sue Smith, the office coordinator at the Career Center. 

Smith is looking forward to the fair and wants to make sure that students are prepared. 

“We hold smaller events the week leading up to the fair to help prepare GVSU students,” she said. “We had two different discussions on how to talk to employers and extended walk-ins here at the Career Center all last week.”

This event is considered high profile and tends to attract up to 1,700 students and alumni looking for opportunities. To avoid overwhelming attendees, advisers from the Career Center and GVSU’s Kirkhof College of Nursing are committed to assisting those who may need it. During the event, they will be stationed right outside the doors. 

With filtered lists of employers in different locations, lists of employers for each major and more, students can feel comfortable knowing there are resources available for them.

“We want to help everyone,” Proctor said. “So, we’ll have information to help narrow down students’ searches and filter their lists. We definitely recommend doing some research before attending, however.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring multiple copies of their resumes and a notepad to jot down helpful notes throughout the event. In terms of what to wear, the Career Center recommends business professional attire and even has examples of what that might look like listed online. 

To learn more about the career fair and health career expo, visit

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