The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater held a career fair split up over three days. More than 150 employers attended the event looking to fill intern positions and job openings.
“The big goal and the purpose of the career fair is to help our students find full-time jobs after graduation and also to find internships relevant to their major in their future career,” said Kim Apel, the career technology coordinator at UW-Whitewater.
Tuesday was the first day of the fair, which consisted of majors ranging from accounting, finance, information technology, computer science, media arts and game development, graphic design and supply chain. Matt Henson, a representative from Jones Market, was looking for potential interns for the company.
“We are looking for local kids to come and intern with the company and hopefully grow with us,” said Henson.
Wednesday’s fair was geared towards the majors of general business, general management, human resources, journalism, communication, advertising, marketing, sales, international business, and entrepreneurship. Thursday’s fair consisted of majors from physical business, mathematics, health-related, social-sciences and education.
One of the challenges that faced Apel was trying to find the right employers to match with student’s majors.
“The biggest challenge was trying to decide which day to have which major and making sure that everything kind of meshed together that we had similar majors going on similar days,” said Apel.
However, not all challenges were negative for Apel. Another challenge included having employers be too excited to attend the career fair.
“Having employers that were so excited wanting to talk to our students that they wanted to come on multiple days, but originally we couldn’t allow multiple days because as I said before our goal is to really have as many unique employers coming to campus as possible.”
Some of the companies who attended the fair ranged from American Family Insurance, PepsiCo, Kohler and Kwik Trip. Having unique employers with different opportunities within their company was one of the goals set out by Apel.
“To get more employers active with UW-Whitewater and recruiting our students so a big part of this fair was getting as many unique employers coming to campus on various days,” said Apel.
Many employers were open to students because they allowed multiple majors to be included. Adams Publishing Company was looking for students from either communication, general business, general management or the human resources field.
“There are a lot of positions out here that even if it doesn’t fit strictly in the major, they’re looking to hire folks in every kind of major,” said Isabella Virrueta, associate career counselor at UW-Whitewater.
Students looking for jobs outside their major is not a foreign concept. According to CareerBuilder, 47 percent of college graduates in the workforce say their first job was not related to their major. Virrueta also says students can expand their professional connections by attending these fairs or just talking to different employers.
“You also never know who knows who, who can connect you with who and they are a great opportunity to get face time with really prevalent employers in the area,” Virrueta said.