Story by Chelsea Sydnor
Representatives from Gardner-Webb will attend the Metrolina Career Fair at Johnson & Wales University Thursday, November 3, 2016. The fair is hosted by the Career Consortium of Metrolina Colleges, a non-profit organization made-up of Gardner-Webb and other local small schools, including Wingate University and Belmont-Abbey College.
According to Lisa Yerrick, the Director of Career Development at Gardner-Webb, students have been attending the career fair for at least 12 years. As larger companies often target students from larger universities, the fair aims to bring the attention of these employers to smaller colleges and universities. The career fair is in Charlotte as it is a central location for the affiliated schools.
“We encourage students to go every year because it gives students the chance to practice skills they will need when they are looking for jobs, like networking and dressing professionally,” said Yerrick. “Being able to introduce yourself and talk about your skillset is important as well.”
The career fair is also a chance for students to learn about the types of jobs that are available to them.
“They forget for example, that school systems hire administrators, accountants, and human resources representatives,” said Yerrick. “But often only education majors will apply to school systems. This is a great way to see all of the different jobs that companies employ. Since many companies are also looking for interns, it’s a way to find out about those opportunities.”
Attending students are advised to bring a good resume to leave with interested employers, as well as questions that they have for the employers. According to Yerrick, a brief elevator speech telling who the student is, what their skills are, and what kind of job they are looking for is also important. Students can seek advice on their elevator speeches either from professors on campus, or from the Career Development Center.
When Gardner-Webb students arrive at the fair they are encouraged to check in at the table representing the university.
“We’ll have nametags and maps of the layout of where every company’s table is,” Yerrick said. “We also like to keep track of what students were there, as well as if they are contacted for any follow-up interviews.”
Yerrick believes that if students inform their professors that they are attending the educational experience of the career fair, the professors will be supportive and understanding of any classes missed.
The Career Development Center also offers counseling on polishing resumes, personal pitches, and professional attire. The Center also keeps a closet of professional clothing for students to borrow in all different sizes, and is always available to schedule appointments.
To schedule an appointment with the Career Development Center, visit suite 330 in the Tucker Student Center, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.