The Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) career fair will still be in full swing this fall, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The career fair experience is going to be drastically different than years past for students, alumni, and recruiters. This will be Missouri S&T’s first completely virtual career fair, taking place on September 22nd, 2020. Normally, the Missouri S&T career fair features a multitude of students, employers, and booths all throughout Missouri S&T’s Student Recreation Center. Everyone is dressed to the nines with resumes in hand. The virtual career fair will be an adjustment for everyone involved, but anyone looking for a full-time job, internship, co-op, or just some networking experience, can benefit.
The fair is being completely handled through an app called Career Fair Plus. Students must pre-register on this app before September 22nd to participate. The app allows students to make their own appointments with the employers they want to talk to. Appointments opened at 8am on September 9th. About 300 companies register to attend Missouri S&T career fairs on average. According to Missouri S&T’s career page, “These events offer employers an opportunity to network with over 2,500 students and alumni seeking full-time jobs, co-ops or summer internships. The average starting salary for undergraduates with Missouri S&T degrees is over $63,000. The average starting salary for graduate students is over $79,000.”
A virtual career fair can actually make it easier for students to connect with potential employers. Everyone attending loses out on the in-person interaction normally provided by an in-person career fair, but there are many other benefits. No one has to wait in line to talk to a company, which has been known to take up a great deal of students’ time at the fair. Students just pick appointments with the recruiters and instantly have a meeting time with them virtually. There’s no limit on the number of companies and recruiters that can attend, because it’s not confined to a physical space with a set number of booths. It’s also easier to filter companies by majors on the Career Fair Plus app, so students can see exactly which companies are recruiting students from their respective major. Students get to share their resume and LinkedIn profiles (business and employment-oriented online service) directly with companies and make it easier for employers to consolidate information about those that attend the fair.
Professional attire is still required for all of the meetings and interviews, but Missouri S&T has resources for those who need professional clothing. Missouri S&T has a “suit closet” that helps provide students with professional attire to wear for job interviews, employer networking events, and career fairs. Approximately 500 students take advantage of the suit closet at Missouri S&T each year, “By supplying students with professional attire, we are giving them a better chance of obtaining a full-time job, co-op or internship.” The suit closet is operated out of the Career Opportunities and Employer Relations office, located on the third floor of Norwood Hall on Missouri S&T’s campus. All of the tools are in the students’ hands to make this career fair successful.
Picture provided by news.mst.edu.