October 22, 2020

A coronavirus-safe career fair

Even in the middle of a global pandemic, the intimidating world of life after college looms. While it might be difficult to focus on a job search when in-person contact is limited, Capital University’s Career Development team is working to help students connect with potential after-college resources.

Jennifer Vrobel, the Associate Director of Career Development, has all of the information on how students are supposed to prepare for this year’s Collegiate Career Fair, which will be conducted virtually on Wednesday, October 21.

Correction: In our Oct. 15th print edition, Jennifer Vrobel is addressed as Assistant Director, when she is Associate Director. This is correction can only be made online, but we apologize for the mistake.
Jennifer Vrobel shares a virtual interview with reporter Emily Dietz.

“We had to figure out a way to provide health safety measures, but still allow students to talk to employers in real time,” Vrobel said.

This two-part goal was accomplished by planning a career fair that will be conducted entirely through Handshake, Capital’s job search and networking site. The registration link can be found on Engage, and once students have registered, they can sign-up for any available sessions.

All sessions will be conducted through video-conferencing features similar to Zoom. Participants will have the options to mute themselves, raise their hand, and communicate in a chat window.

Vrobel shares the virtual career fair homepage on Handshake.

Sessions are available throughout the afternoon with various employers and graduate schools. Students can either request a one-on-one session or opt to join scheduled group sessions. While there is no official deadline for registration, Vrobel said that registering early is always best, as session slots might fill up closer to the event day.

Also, registering early allows participants to prepare for their one-on-one interviews. In previous years, Career Development has hosted in-person workshops leading up to the career fair. Since distancing requirements complicate that, the team has posted quick YouTube videos that help students find the Career Fair guidebook, craft an elevator speech, pick out an outfit, and other essential tasks.

According to Vrobel, the most important preparatory step is to have a resume checked over beforehand, if you plan on offering it to any potential employers. Employers place considerable weight on resumes, so it is necessary to make sure that it presents you in the best possible light.

Another point that Vrobel stressed was the benefits of attending a career fair, even for underclassmen. Attending group sessions now can help first- and second-years to gain familiarity with the career fair atmosphere, and the fair can also be a key networking tool.

“COVID will end, and students will be better prepared for that future if they take advantage of these opportunities to make connections now,” Vrobel said.

The Career Development office is happy to answer any questions from students, about the fair or otherwise. Stop by their second-floor office in Blackmore Library, or reach out at careerdevelopment@capital.edu.

  • Emily is a sophomore English literature major at Capital, and a reporter and distribution manager for the Chimes. When she's not carting papers around campus, Emily enjoys watching Jeopardy, bothering her cats, and eating mac and cheese. edietz@capital.edu.

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