GV encourages students to attend job fair, discover new opportunities


GVL / Sydney Lim

Jamie Wilson, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s student employment office is preparing to host the annual summer job fair for students looking for new opportunities. 

On Thursday, March 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. the Grand River Room in the Kirkhof Center will be filled with internships and paid employment opportunities for students. 

While many of the jobs will offer valuable experiences in potential areas of interest, the summer job fair isn’t limited to students in any particular major. 

“We have a huge range of employers attending and within that range are paid and unpaid internships, as well as traditional employment that can be seasonal, short-term work or can continue on into the next academic year,” said student employment office employee Katelyn Johnson. 

The attending employers vary from summer camp opportunities where students may be paid through housing and food to help lead the program, local department stores and the Kentwood Police Department. 

“The Summer Job Fair is geared toward students who may want experience in their field of interest but are not ready to graduate, or students who want to put something on their resume that will benefit them in the future,” Johnson said. 

While not necessarily the goal of the event, Johnson said that it’s not uncommon for summer jobs to develop into long-term positions for students.  

“Having a job while in school gives students a big boost for when they graduate,” Johnson said. “They will gain hands-on experience and can use those employers as professional references.”

She also said there are many benefits for students looking to work on GVSU’s campus.

“The employers on campus know that students are students first,” Johnson said. “They aren’t going to schedule students during class times, they’re going to give students leniency during exam weeks and they end up being really good references for students once they do graduate.”

Students who’re eager and serious about gaining summer work experience are encouraged to bring an updated resume to give to employers at the summer job fair. 

GVSU’s career center supports students in both creating and updating their resumes. 

Students can schedule a resume appointment or stop by the Allendale or Pew campus “career lab” between 1 and 4 p.m. every Monday through Friday. 

The career center also offers a virtual career lab from 4 to 7 p.m. every Monday through Thursday. 

All students are also encouraged to visit the career center for assistance in every step of their job preparation and search process.

“The career center offers support to students who are seeking any kind of employment,” said assistant director of the career center, Megan Riksen. “Students and alumni can join a career community, utilize Handshake and attend any of the various events we have throughout the year.”

Handshake is a website that allows students to filter their results by part-time or full-time work, location and job description. 

All of the employers attending the summer job fair have a presence on Handshake where students are able to reach out to them or even apply for a position through the platform.

“The number one reported reason for why students attend GVSU is to find jobs after graduation,” Riksen said. “Our office’s purpose is to help make that happen. We encourage students to connect with our office early and often. The earlier students begin planning for their future careers, the better.”

In the days leading up to the event students are encouraged to view the employer list to see which of the 55 employers they’d like to hear from. 

Students are able to RSVP any time before the event, but early reservations are encouraged to ensure the number of students and employers attending are supported.