On Thursday, Oct. 12, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., 136 graduate schools, non-profit and for-profit employers were represented in the Spaulding Gymnasium for the Your Future Fair. This event is hosted once per semester by the Keene State College Office of Academic and Career Advising in order to give students an opportunity to see what options they have after graduation.
Director of Academic and Career Advising Pat Halloran said one reason the fair is so important is because many KSC students aren’t aware of all the options available to them. “It’s our opportunity to bring together employers and graduate schools for students to begin to meet, make connections and possibly find internships and other postgraduate opportunities,” Halloran said.
Students entered the gymnasium, registered, got a name tag and were prompted to shake hands, introduce themselves and maintain eye contact with the representatives.
KSC junior Julie Anber said, “It’s very intimidating and a little nerve wracking, especially if you’re an introverted person like myself, but I did step out of my comfort zone. I did talk to a couple tables. That was enough for me. I did put a resume in.”
Anber said she plans to go back to the fair in the spring semester. “I’m seeking a summer internship, so this was just to get an idea of what’s being offered. I’m sure there will be different employers here in the spring, so yeah, you’ll see me here,” she said.
That’s exactly the kind of experience the Office of Academic and Career Advising wants students to have.
“Get a sense of what it feels like to give your resume to someone, to an employer,” Halloran said. “Get a sense of what it feels like to shake a hand and introduce yourself. How do you introduce yourself? Maybe you’re not looking to get a job immediately, but start developing that comfort level and those connections. You can do that the day you arrive here.”
Halloran added that all students should be considering what they plan to do after college and tie it into their short-term plans.
“When we’re talking to students about what courses they’re planning to register for in the spring, we begin to ask, ‘What are you planning to do when you graduate?’ In that way, you can begin to enhance your academic program. I think it’s always important to think long-term and to know what your options are,” Halloran said.
There were also many students who were thinking long-term and were actively seeking employment. Anber said, “I know there’s a lot of kids walking in who are very professionally dressed and they’re ready to find a job.”
Freedom Energy Logistics representative Ali Walter said she and her colleague went to the Your Future Fair looking for both full time employees and interns.
“We’ve had a few good conversations,” Walter said. “We’ve had some people who were ready to go, have got their resumes, and it seemed like they’d worked on their elevator pitch. It’s good to see.”
Even if you’re still a year or more away from graduation, students said the Your Future Fair is a good place to be. “I think it’s a very good way to get your name out there… There’s a lot of tables, so if you’re an active job seeker, it’s a great place to be,” Anber said. “There’s a lot of introverted people who get nervous around this type of situation, but if you push yourself a little outside of your comfort zone, it’s a great opportunity.”
Kalila Brooks can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org