Wish there was a place you could go to talk with professionals in your field? Well now there is between the hours of 10am to 2:30pm Western Michigan Job Fair is being held on February 7th and 8th. There is also one being held on February 16th between the hours of 1 to 4pm all of them located in the Bernhard Center’s Ballroom.

“It really is a great networking opportunity with employers. It allows underclassman and upperclassman to see what employers are out there in the student’s field,” Laura Makarewicz, an employer engagement assistant, said.

Western Michigan’s STEM Job Fair will invite approximately 114 employers to talk and look for student about possible openings their business has in internships, higher education and both part-time or full-time jobs! The Career Fair held the next day February 8th will have roughly 130 employers coming to talk with students. Lastly, the Government and Nonprofit fair will have around 100 employers looking to also talk with students.  

“We have drop off resume help along with Drop-In Career Advising for students interested [here at the Career and Student Employment Services],” Amanda Jeppesen, an employer engagement assistant, said.

Resume drop off is going on between January 16th and February 5th. This allows students to drop off their resumes for review at 1401 Ellsworth Hall’s welcome desk. With in two days the students will get feedback on their resume. The drop in advising is a twenty minute in person session that students can take advantage of on Monday’s and Friday’s from noon to four in the afternoon. During these sessions students can have a person look over their resumes, have help on their 30 seconds elevator speech or learn about professional etiquette.

“Most students can expect a lot of employers. It is an opportunity for students not only to sell themselves to the employer, but in way also interview the employers too,” Laura Makarewicz said.  

Although, having a resume for the job fair isn’t required it is strongly recommended along with some background research into the companies you are going to talk to at the job fair. One way to find out who is going to be at the job fair is by making a profile on Handshake. Handshake is an easy profile site that allows students to search for both on-campus and off-campus jobs, build a profile for themselves and make resumes that employers can use when searching for a specific student. This site is easy and user friendly for it’s setup much like a Spotify, Amazon or Pinterest profile by using the same platform, according to Amanda.

“All the job fairs can be found on handske along with what type of positions each employer is looking to fill. Along with this information there will be a link to many of the employers bios,” Amanda Jeppesen said.

Job fairs are great places to start your networking with companies in your professional field, but so is the jobs students do while still in school. Working at a front desk in a building, being a residential assistant or even working in the school cafeteria can all help build employable students.

“Working at the Valley Dining Center taught me life skills and how to work with people of all ages both of which are useful in a medical career,” Tylor Torres, a WMU freshman, said.

Even with the many opportunities offered on-campus and at the job fair some students would still prefer to look for jobs off campus. The retail or food industry some students work at can still be helpful, in more ways than just help to pay for college.

“Working at Payless has taught me how to “talk people down” and communication skills, which I used when talking to corporate offices, or dealing with a crisis management conflict,” Izzy Andrews, a WMU sophomore, said.

All in all, no matter what type of student you are or what major your studying going to the job fair on February 7th, 8th and 16th or getting an off or on-campus job can help you stand out to employers in your field later down the line.

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