Virtual 2020 career fair

Beth Beaudry, Student Life Editor

The University of New Haven held its annual career expo on Sept. 16. Although it looked different this year because of COVID-19 restrictions, students were still able to meet virtually with possible employers.

Rather than hosting tabling in the Recreation Center, students were given a list of the employers available and were able to make a virtual appointment with them through Career Fair Plus. Some companies required students to reserve a meeting time with them, while others provided a link where students could join without reservation. Most companies offered both options.

There were 48 companies present, ranging from communication to criminal justice, engineering, finance, and more. Some present companies included the U.S. Capitol Police Department, Amazon, the Peace Corps, Turner Construction, Webster Bank, and more. There were 800 available appointment slots between all 48 companies, and about half of the time slots were reserved in advance.

The Career Development Center (CDC) Instagram promoted the event throughout the week and offered tips for students attending. They offered step-by-step tutorials on how to reserve a meeting, and ways to impress the employers, such as dressing properly and having clear camera quality and good lighting.

Operations and events manager of the CDC, Katie George, said, “Students were still excited to have the opportunity to network for possible internship opportunities. Students were also happy to have dedicated time slots to chat with employers versus walking up to career fair tables and trying to immediately stand out from the crowd of other students.”

While there were some technical difficulties, the fair still ran smoothly and students, faculty, and employers remained patient and enthusiastic as they learned how to interview virtually, according to George.

George said that while the career fair is always popular, the CDC presents opportunities for students to network year-round. She said that many students wait until being close to graduation to visit the CDC and look for jobs, but she advises students to get involved starting their first semester, and stay involved throughout the school year.

“When students choose to work with our office from early on [first year on campus], what tends to happen is not only do we [CDC staff] build rapport with you [students], but you’ll be closer to the relationship we have with all of our employer partners,” said Geroge.

The CDC has weekly Zoom opportunities for students to work on their resume and cover letters, practice their interviewing, and get help finding a job or internship.