Keene State College (KSC) students got a chance to explore job and internship opportunities at the Your Future Fair on March 23, 2017.
The Academic and Career Advising Office put on the fair, which took place in the recreational gym of the Spaulding Gymnasium. The event hosted 110 representatives from a variety of nonprofit and for-profit companies.
Academic and Career Advisor Bev Behrmann said this was the biggest employer turnout at a fair of this kind at KSC.
“In the fall, we do graduate schools and employers; that was bigger because we had about 40 graduate schools, but in terms of employers, this is the largest fair we’ve had,” Behrmann said.
The size of the fair seems to be growing at a fairly rapid rate, according to Behrmann. “I’ve been here five years, this is the 10th fair I’ve done and it’s grown from 47 to 112 [representatives] now,” Behrmann said.
While the number of employers represented at the event is important, perhaps more important is the number of students who attend.
Behrmann said the goal was to have over 10 percent of the student population attend, noting that it would be great to see 20 or 25 percent. Behrmann said that goal was not met.
One of the students who attended was Matthew Liggett. Liggett, a junior, said he was there searching for a summer internship. Liggett also said that he had found a few different companies he was interested in working with and he had connected well with several of them.
There was also a variety of types of employers, which Behrmann said was a focal point and a reason the event seemed to be so successful. In regards to feedback from the students, Behrmann said it seemed to be mostly positive.
“From the students, they’re excited at the number and the variety of employers that are here for the most part,” Behrmann said. Behrmann also said that students were praising the great opportunity to interact with professionals.
Kate Thomas, who was representing PC Connection, Inc., has worked at job fairs at KSC in the past, and said she can see the improvement in the event. “I think a lot of the improvements that [KSC] has made as far as getting students here and traffic has been great,” Thomas said.
Jessica Weysham, who was also representing PC Connection, Inc., said the fair seemed to have more people looking for full-time positions as opposed to internships than other fairs. “
A lot of times, we get more people who are looking for internships in the fall, whereas we’re getting more people that are looking for actual positions because they’re going to graduate,” Weysham said.
While the members of PC Connection, Inc. said they’ve been experiencing having more students looking for jobs, not all companies saw it that way.
Eric Higgins, one of two representatives from Allstate Insurance, said it seemed to be a 50/50 split between students looking for jobs and those looking for internships.
Behrmann said the experience can be valuable for students either way. “What a great opportunity to go and talk to professionals, even if they’re not graduating and looking for a job, [but] just that experience of talking to employers,” Behrmann said.
Lucas Chaffee, another student attending the fair, said he understands the value of an event that gives you a chance to interact face-to-face.
“E-mails are great and everything and they help communicating with long-distance, but being in-person [and] talking directly to a person who works for the company I think is a lot better than just responding to e-mails or phone calls,” Chaffee said.
Crae Messer can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org