Last semester’s career day felt like a bit of a nightmare. Long lines and constant technical difficulties made an already stressful day that much more difficult, but we learned from our mistakes. This semester’s was great for the students and the 166 employers that attended.
If you got the chance to talk to an employer, you found that the video chat option made it feel a lot less awkward and frustrating as opposed to typing in a chat. When you’re looking to make connections and learn about something, chat definitely isn’t the way to go. But, while the video and audio chats didn’t have many technical issues, the time limit cut many conversations short and even mid-sentence. And even though there was no way to get back into a chat once it closed, it was nice that you could send a quick message to the person you talked to just to say thank you and send additional contact information.
It’s unfortunate that first-year students didn’t get the full experience of an in-person career fair, but the option to wait in lines made it feel pretty similar at times. Some employers had lines of more than 50 students throughout the day but thanks to the time limit (that was occasionally frustrating), most students were able to chat without waiting for hours like last semester.
If Mines holds another virtual career fair, it can be certain that it will continue to get better and easy for everyone attending. More employers can come as they no longer have to potentially travel across the US to talk to students, and technology issues are becoming less and less prevalent the longer we navigate this virtual world.
For students that attend virtual career fairs in the future, make sure to check ahead of time what employers are attending and do some research on ones you may be interested in. Make sure to update your resume and plan ahead so that your schedule will allow for time to talk to employers for anywhere from 2 minutes to upwards of 15. Even virtual, it is still a fantastic place to network with people and find potential internships and jobs and it is great practice for interviewing virtually, an essential skill in the midst of the pandemic.