Eastern Michigan University is hosting a virtual career fair on Wednesday, March 30, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for EMU students and alumni.
The EMU 2022 Virtual Spring Career Fair is open to all freshman, sophomores, juniors, seniors, alumni, graduate, doctoral, and Ph.D. students.
The Virtual Career Fair is an opportunity for EMU students and alumni to gain permanent employment or internships. Students must pre-register for group and individual sessions to attend. To register, download the Handshake app and activate the account with emich credentials. Once activated, go to “Events,” select “This Month,” and register for the career fair.
So far, the career fair has 69 employers and 189 registered students attending. Past challenges surrounding EMU career fairs have been students not registering for the events due to a lack of knowledge of the event and the activation and use of the Handshake app.
Industry employers from business, healthcare, arts, science, and technology fields attend. Virtual interview slots are 10 minutes that serve as a meet-and-greet to talk about the next steps with an organization.
“The job market is good,” Carlson said. “Employers need help, but they're not going to come to you; you need to go to them. These are recruiters or talent acquisitions. They're the face of organizations.”
Employers attending the career fair are predominantly from Michigan and other areas of the Midwest including Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Therefore, a virtual event like this is convenient for both students and employers from anywhere to attend.
Carlson advises students to prepare for the career fair by looking into employers attending and their open positions and to schedule a 10-minute session with desired employers.
“The other piece of advice I want to offer is around the group sessions,” Carlson said. “Commonly, students see the group sessions as something they have to stay the entire 20 minutes for. You don't. You can pop in, say hi and get a sense and some information, then step out. You do not need to stay the entire time.”
The success rate of virtual career fairs is about the same as in-person career fairs. However, there are subtle differences, such as the intimidating factors of a virtual platform versus the casualness of in-person. Nonetheless, the opportunities at the virtual career fair are vast.
“Students are less hesitant and trusting of the virtual platform,” Carlson said. “In an in-person event like when we hosted at the Student Center, students are meandering, so you can get students to connect with. So the challenge with virtually bringing students together with employers and connecting with the opportunities is different. It's an opportunity to introduce, meet with employers, speak with recruiters, and talent acquisition, and it's free.”
EMU Career Services offers support, advice, and judgment into students' desired career fields. Carlson recommends that students engage with faculty, other students, and the community through volunteering and student organizations to build a network.
“What we know is who we know, or even better, who knows us,” Carlson said.
The EMU Career Service Center offers additional career development resources, including help with LinkedIn, interview prep, mock interviews, resume writing to cover letters, networking, prospecting, and pitch statements.