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Fall Career Expo moves online

The annual Fall Career Expo is just around the corner and while there are some changes due to the ongoing pandemic, the event will still take place, and students will have the opportunity to meet with potential employers.  

There are more than 100 companies and organizations registered to attend the fair ranging from business and industry, to hospitals, to school districts, non-profit agencies, graduate schools, and more.  

The Fall Career Expo will take place on Thursday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. New this year, the event will be conducted entirely online.  

“(The) Fall Career Expo is physically different due to COVID, but the results should be the same if not better,” said Mindy Cloninger, director of Career Services. “Rather than students and employers interacting at booths, all interactions will be virtual through a program called Career Fair Plus. This platform provides students the opportunity to schedule a few minutes to introduce themselves online to employers and ask questions about the companies and organizations just like they would at the fair. They should still dress professionally. These organizations are actively hiring for internships and full-time positions after graduation, as our economy continues to improve.”  

There are some advantages to having the event completely online.  

“They will have the company rep’s undivided attention,” Cloninger said. “The online format gives students the chance to interact with a large number of organizations, possibly more than they would have time to if they were making their way to the Plaster Center between classes and work.”  

Where there are disadvantages, there are also new opportunities.  

​“I think after months of distancing, we are all missing the ease and benefits of face-to-face interactions,” Cloninger said. “Over the years, we have seen many students happen into an unexpected conversation with a company, maybe the employer waves them over, or maybe a faculty member or Career Services staff member suggests they talk with a certain company, and the student is amazed by what they learn about that organization. Students have walked away with internship offers or scheduled interviews that they did not anticipate. The lesson here is the more chances students are willing to take (in this case, the more online times they schedule), the greater their odds of success.”  

If students have any question about navigating Wonder, they can contact Career Services at 620-235-4140 or stop by their office in rooms 202 and 203 of Horace Mann.  

​“We are hosting a virtual networking room (through) Wonder,” Cloninger said. “Students and faculty can go there without an appointment to chat informally with employers who pop in on their schedule breaks. You move your avatar close to the person or group you want to talk with, it’s actually super fun and very simple. Students can also ask Career Services staff questions, whether to troubleshoot the logistics of the fair or general job search/networking questions.”  

Schedules to meet with companies and organizations are open now and are first-come, first-serve.  

“…Students must sign up in advance to meet with company representatives, and that process (began on Wednesday, Oct. 14),” Cloninger said. “Students sign up through Career Fair Plus. On our website, careers.pittstate.edu, there are a couple of brief videos that literally walk you through how to sign up for Expo and how to navigate a virtual fair. There’s a list of all companies attending on our website, as well as on the Career Fair Plus free app, and tons more details about the fair.”  

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