GV participates in local Career and Internship Fair


GVL / Bethann Long

Camryn Snider, Staff Writer

The Grand Valley State University Career and Internship Fair was held in person on Oct. 11 for the first time in two years. The last two fairs were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to GVSU’s Career Center website, 230 employers attended the career fair at the Devos Place Convention Center, along with students from GVSU, Aquinas College, Cornerstone University, Calvin University, Hope College and Davenport University.

Through attending the fair, students like GVSU sophomore Cebrina Kader hoped to make key contacts that could help in their search to break into the professional realm.

Kader said she found three to four companies at the career fair with whom she was interested in interviewing.

“You get to know what they do, but you also get to know the type of employers that you’re going to be working with,” Kader said. “The face-to-face interaction feels like more of a special connection.”

Fellow GVSU sophomore Grace Piasecki said she was focused on learning about employers within her field as opposed to getting hired.

“I pretty much already have an internship, so I’m just kind of looking to see what else is out there,” Piasecki said. “I feel like the fair helps with networking a lot; you get to meet new people and learn about companies and just learn about what there is out there.”

Piasecki said she found a way to build confidence before speaking to employers.

“I definitely think it helps if you just practice with one of your friends or family members and prepare an elevator speech, like a little 30-second way to introduce yourself to employers and just know that everyone else is in the same boat as you,” Piasecki said.

On the other side, employers attending the fair use the event to communicate directly with students and prospective hires and to help identify potential talent.

Mariah Frey, a talent acquisition specialist with Life EMS Ambulance, said she had a clear idea of what she was looking for in a job candidate.

“Whether this is going to be your end career or not, the passion to try something new and put yourself out there for a different experience is very important,” Frey said. “We can show you the skills and build you up that way but having compassion for patients and wanting to work in your own community I think is huge.”

Frey said she was hoping that attending the career fair would help her fill positions in her company, in a field with many job openings.

“It’s nice to get above that white noise just a little bit and be in front of someone,” Frey said. “We have a lot of open positions in healthcare, obviously. Especially with EMS, we are looking to find some top talent here with students who are interested in trying something new.”

Ally Garlitch, a talent specialist with Consumers Credit Union, said she was also excited to be able to connect in person.

“Consumers always attends the career fair,” Garlitch said. “I think you just get such a large amount of students to reach. It’s definitely a big benefit to be here.”

Director of Community Supports for Community Living Services Lisa Bergquist said attending the career fair helps her find unique candidates that are a good fit for her company.

“We are looking to attract social workers, people in the human services field who want to have a rewarding career working with people with developmental disabilities,” Bergquist said. “I think the job fair gives students the opportunity to ask questions and for us to explain exactly what our company offers and what we do so they can make a better decision than just reading about it.”

 GVSU has publicly announced its intent to participate in another upcoming career fair on Feb. 23 for students and employers to connect during the winter semester.