Career and Internship Fair goes virtual for a second year


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Kay Keller, Staff Writer

This year, the Grand Valley State University Career Center is once again hosting its annual career and internship fair virtually. The event will be on Oct. 7 from 2 pm-6 pm, but spots are already available to sign up. 

Students are able to browse through over 100 employers and sign up for one on one spots with representatives from the companies. Spots are on a first come first serve basis, so it’s best to start looking early, Career Center Assistant Director Megan Riksen said.

The event will be hosted through Handshake, which is also where students can find out which companies will be attending. Students must have a completed Handshake profile and resume uploaded in order to participate.

Even though the virtual setting is not how many people are used to interviews, Riksen said that there were many positives that came out of the online format.

Students enjoyed the ability to pre-schedule their one on one meetings with employers, to not have to wait in line, and the convenience of participating in the fair from anywhere,” Riksen said.

To make sure that students feel comfortable and are prepared for the event, the career center is hosting several events over the next few weeks. These events include the Career Fair Prep, Pitch Prep, a Resume Review Day, and even a Suit-Up event at JCPenny to make sure that students are dressed for success. All of these events can also be found on the Career Center page on Handshake.

The JCPenny Suit-Up event will be hosted both in Grandville and virtually for the students who cannot attend. From 5 pm-8 pm on Oct. 3, JCPenny will be closed to the general public and students will be able to shop for dress clothes. There will be a 30% discount on top of pre-existing sales and prizes will be given out throughout the event.

Many of the top employers of GVSU students attend the career fair at least once a year. The companies have specialties all across the board, ranging from healthcare to manufacturing to nonprofits. There are options to look at for students in all fields.

The career fair is not only for seniors looking for their internship or co-op opportunities. Underclassmen are also highly encouraged to attend the event, even if they are not looking for a job at the moment.

“Attending as a first or second-year student is an excellent way to explore careers, Riksen said. “It is also smart to begin the process of getting to know which companies and organizations they are most interested in.”

On the day of the fair, students should make sure that they are prepared for their interviews. Since these interviews are all online, it’s important to check the tech and make sure that everything is properly working. Students should also be dressed professionally and make sure they don’t have a distracting background.

Since each one-on-one interview spot only lasts about 10 minutes, it’s best to have some questions prepared for each interviewer, Riksen said. Take notes of things to remember and make sure that you get all the information you need. 

The Career Center website recommends sending a personalized thank you note to each company that you interview with to make a lasting impression and to highlight what makes you unique.