Ouachita’s annual Career & Networking Expo is set to take place Thursday, February 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Walker Conference Center. The expo will provide students with the opportunity to have conversations with employers in their field of study.
“Students have had the opportunity to begin networking as well as receive interviews, offers or connections from talking with employers,” said Rachel Jones, director of Ouachita Career Services. “It is a phenomenal opportunity for students to begin networking, meeting employers, gaining experience professionally and learning more about careers/internships in their field.”
The expo will feature about 60 companies, school districts, organizations and graduate schools. The majority of those in attendance will be looking for students to fill long-term jobs; however, those looking for internships and graduate schools will not be disappointed in attending the career expo. All students are invited and encouraged to attend the expo, from seniors close to entering the job market to freshmen who want to get a head start on figuring out their career.
“I think it is a positive thing for all students to attend and not just seniors because you make those initial connections,” Jones said. “The more students we have attending the career fair, the more attractive it will seem to employers, and they will want to keep coming back year to year, and that will help those freshmen in the long run so that when they are seniors, we will have a wide range of people there as well.”
For students wishing to attend the expo, Jones offers this advice: “Arrive prepared. Dress professionally, do your research on who will be attending. Have an idea of how you will answer the question employers are bound to ask you, ‘tell me about yourself,’ and follow up with those employers you do have the opportunity to speak with.”
Jones encouraged students to investigate companies that interest them.
“We try to send out a list of employers who will be on campus, so if you know you are interested in five of them, go ahead and look up what jobs they have open currently or where their operations are or what their mission statement is so that when you have that conversation, you have a little bit to contribute to that conversation,” she said.
Students are also encouraged to bring several up-to-date résumés. Students are also encouraged to send any other materials to the employer such as portfolios or writing samples later that day, along with a thank-you note to the employer to finish off a successful encounter with an employer.
For many Ouachita students, the expo provides the first contacts to the professional world.
“The employers who come to the career fair keep coming back because they have hired OBU students from the career fair and want to keep doing so,” Jones said. “They know what type of people they are getting when they hire an OBU graduate and that is of interest to them, and that’s why we have so many employers attend.”
Students are encouraged to arrive when the career expo starts at 10 a.m. so as to allow plenty of time to talk to recruiters.
For questions or concerns regarding Ouachita’s Career & Networking Expo, please contact the Career Services team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (870) 245-5593.
By Mattie Alexander, staff writer