The Spring Career Fair was a virtual event.
Students from the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering took virtual steps into the real world during the Spring 2021 Career Fair Feb. 18.
More than 680 students met with employers in a virtual setting, providing a safe opportunity for students to explore full-time and part-time jobs, as well as internship opportunities that are available. Companies taking part in the event included Ernst & Young, Crowe, Grant Thornton, and two dozen other potential employers.
Experience working in a virtual environment over the past year allowed both companies and recruits to enjoy the format.
“Our Handshake platform has become pretty standard for virtual fairs,” said Carleigh Hannon, senior associate director of Career Services at Luddy. “Handshake made many updates to their virtual fair platform since the fall, so it was a more intuitive experience.”
More than 1,100 virtual, one-on-one sessions were held between students and recruiters, and 21 group sessions were held. Luddy Peer Advisors helped students prepare for the event by providing tips in a weekly newsletter and created career fair content as part of the Luddy Career Jumpstart Series on YouTube. Leading up to the fair, Luddy Career Services staff continued to meet with students virtually by appointment. On career fair day, students and employers were supported by the Luddy Career Services team in dedicated Zoom rooms called the Student Help Desk and the Employer Help Desk.
Radha Parikh, a cybersecurity consultant for EY, was impressed with how easily Luddy students adapted to the virtual environment.
“It was done so seamlessly,” Parikh said. “It was clear the students had done their research on the available job positions and made the best of their meeting time. As an employer, I also liked that I had the opportunity to view the students’ Handshake profile prior to meeting them. It helped me understand their background and made our conversations more meaningful.”
The next Luddy Career Fair is scheduled for Sept. 23, although whether the format for that event will be virtual or in-person is still to be decided.
“Students who participated in the fair did a great job preparing for the event,” Hannon said. “Some students prefer the virtual format because it provides structure. For example, they know they’re meeting with a recruiter from EY for 10 minutes at 1:10, meeting with enVista for 10 minutes at 1:30, and have a 30-minute group session with TRIMEDX at 2. They can prepare specifically for these sessions in advance. If a student attended the virtual fair, they were more likely to attend multiple employer sessions instead of just one. I plan on keeping at least one virtual fair per year in the future.”