From 3–5 p.m. on Feb. 8, BJU will host its annual career fair — with a twist. To limit the potential spread of COVID-19, Career Services moved the fair to Career Central, a networking website for students and prospective employers.
This year, over 30 employers and schools are offering jobs, internships and graduate school opportunities, including BMW Manufacturing, Bon Secours Health System and Greenville County Schools. A complete list is on Career Central.
Students should go to the 2021 Virtual Career Fair page to register using their BJU login information. They are encouraged to explore Career Central and upload their résumés so that employers can have access.
Taylor Holland, a senior Business Administration student, has attended the career fair every year and offers advice to her fellow students. “It’s really important to go ahead and start meeting people and networking. My biggest tip is to go in with a purpose. I would highly recommend looking at the list of recruiters and deciding who you specifically want to talk to,” she said.
Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, employers and school representatives did not feel comfortable coming to campus this year. Career Services decided a virtual career fair would be the best way to make sure everyone stays safe.
A virtual fair was unprecedented, so Career Services needed to prepare. They set up a hosting platform software program, contacted all participating companies to notify them of the change and are continuing to reach out to potential new employers.
Shawn Albert, director of Career Services, is hopeful of the outcome of this year’s fair. “This is a great opportunity for students who are looking for jobs, internships or graduate schools, but anyone is welcome. It can be strategic to have short conversations with employers even as a freshman or sophomore,” he said.
Throughout the year, Career Services hosts several workshops that teach students necessary skills for future careers. On Feb. 4, Career Services will host a workshop called “Prepare for the Career Fair.” The workshop will help students learn to navigate the fair and give them an opportunity to ask questions. Students can sign up on the Career Services website.
Said Albert: “We can help you present yourself in the best light for an employer. We work with employers (and) we know what they are looking for. We can help you accurately present yourself in a way that shows that you can meet their needs.”
The Day of the Event
On the day of the event, students should log in early and select which employers they want to meet with. The career fair works on a first-come-first-serve basis, and students will be dropped into a queue once they make their selection. They will wait their turn for a one-on-one video call with that employer.
Most of the meetings will just be between an employer and the student. Some group chats will be available, most by larger companies with more than one representative attending the fair.
Career Services offers some advice to students for the day of the Career Fair:
- Familiarize yourself with the platform before logging in.
- Find a quiet, private place where you won’t be interrupted.
- Use a headset or headphones.
- Know which employers you want to talk to before the fair begins.
Even though this year will be different, students are encouraged to attend the virtual career fair, no matter their classification. Holland is currently interning with a firm that she met at the 2020 career fair. She said, “It’s incredibly beneficial to go to job fairs, even if you aren’t a senior. You never know how God could use that in your future.”