The EMU University Advising & Career Development Center hosted an internship fair on Wednesday, Feb. 12, in the Student Center Ballroom to give students an opportunity to browse and engage with organizations hiring for internship positions in an array of fields. In total, 53 organizations were present at the internship fair.
Students began by checking in at the front, then going through a “ready room.” The “ready room” was an area where students could practice handshakes, introductions, have their attire checked by faculty, and have photos taken for LinkedIn or other professional networking media before meeting with employers in the ballroom.
Tom Borg, EMU Alumni Association Board of Director member explained how students were taught what to do to prepare for potential job interviews.
“When students come in, we want to help them be as prepared as possible. So what we try to do is coach them on some basics, things like how to introduce themselves, how to ask the right questions, or some of the questions they can ask that will help them find out more about the position they’re looking for, but also about the company. In a sense, they’re actually interviewing that company,” Borg said.
Borg elaborated that students passing through the ready room are given strategies by faculty and that he personally advises students to have a “strategy for following up.”
Once students left the ready room, they could freely engage with and learn about many organizations, companies, and groups that were providing internship opportunities. The internship fair was colorfully painted with a variety of different internship opportunities with internship opportunities in finance, fashion, local government, and even healthcare.
In addition to a large pool of potential employers, the internship fair featured a resource area in which organizations with career-building could connect with students including the EMU Alumni Association, EMU Veteran’s Office, EMU Center for Digital Engagement, and Michigan Council of Women in Technology.
Pete Subudom, a senior in EMU’s mechanical engineering program, explained he was hoping to see “any mechanical engineering jobs . . . anything that will test my knowledge of mechanical engineering skills.” Subudom reported that he found nine employers in his field.
Ibrahim Abudiab, a senior majoring in cyber defense, expressed, “a lot of these places are interesting, I really like this place [Gentex],” Gentex is a company which describes itself as “a technology company” that develops technology for use in automotive, aerospace, and commercial fire protection industries.
YMCA Camping Services Business Office Manager Abigail Billau provided insight as to why so many organizations were interested in offering internships to EMU students.
“This is one of the most organized student [internship] fairs, and we go to five or six fairs a year. . . [EMU students are] not just the textbook students that a lot of employers are looking for, they’re also very good at social cues and interpersonal skills,” Billau said.
For students seeking further career-search services, the UACDC provides personality assessments, interest/value assessments which “help you identify different keywords about yourself that [you would] talk about yourself in an interview” UACDC representative Crystal Vazquez said.
Future events from the UACDC include the Teacher Job Fair on Monday on Mar. 16, and the Spring Career fair on Wednesday, Mar. 18.