The end of the semester is just a few months away, and the search for jobs and summer internships has begun.
Students who are interested in learning about job opportunities and meeting potential employers are encouraged to attend one of three upcoming career fairs happening both on and off campus.
The first of these fairs, the Western PA Collegiate Job and Internship Fair, will be held at Monroeville Convention Center, near Pittsburgh, on March 13.
The event is organized by WestPACS, a group composed of representatives from 45 colleges and universities in northwest Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.
This event is one of the largest job fairs in the country, with between 170 and 190 employers expected to attend.
“Career fairs are a great way to introduce yourself to potential employers, giving them a positive experience with you to consider your application, rather than just reading about you on paper,” Heather Balas, Director of the Career Development Center, said.
Balas also serves as the WestPACS President. Though this is a free event, students should pre-register at www.westpacs.org and be ready to present themselves in a professional manner.
For those specifically interested in education, a second fair will be hosted by the Pittsburgh Education Recruitment Consortium on March 27.
Eligible candidates include Education, Speech Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy majors or students pursuing degrees in Administration. To qualify, you must be on track to receive certification by December 2019.
At this career fair, students will have the opportunity to meet professionals from various school districts and educational agencies.
Unlike the WestPACS event, the PERC fair requires an attendance fee. However, it is cheaper if students pre-register at www.percjobfair.org.
To help students get to these off-campus experiences, the Career Development Center will be offering transportation, which can be arranged by emailing Career Counselor Emma Kovacs.
It is understood that for some students, taking a whole day off of class may not be possible, which is why the Career Development Center is bringing opportunities to the Mercyhurst Career Fair on April 4.
“We would love to see you attend several fairs, but understand that it isn’t always easy to take a full day off campus from classes to attend,” Balas said. “So do research and check out the companies attending the fairs. Attend the off-campus fairs if there are employers of interest to you. But absolutely attend the on-campus fair – it’s right here and a great resource for you.”
Students can register for the on-campus fair using the Handshake website, where they can also sign up for various preparation workshops.
“These workshops are a great way to be a step ahead of your competition at a job fair,” Balas said.
At the preparation workshops, students have the opportunity to learn about various topics including “Navigating a Job Fair” (Feb. 18 at noon and Feb. 20 at 2 p.m.), “Professional Dress” (Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. and Feb. 20 at noon), “Résumé Workshop” (Feb. 19 at noon and Feb. 21 at 2 p.m.), “Elevator Pitch” (Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. and Feb. 21 at noon) and “Interview Workshop” (Feb. 22 at noon).
Various dates and times are offered so students can be fully prepared to launch their future careers.
For those students who cannot attend workshops, resources are available on the Handshake website and appointments are available in the Career Development Center for one-on-one assistance.