(PHOTO/ Zenith Shrestha)
Jamie Caple, a senior computer science and graphic design major from Clio, interacts with potential employers during the career fair held in the Trojan Arena on Wednesday. The fair, which featured employers from both the private and government sectors, was open to students from all majors and marked the first time the event was held in the Trojan Arena.
Students of all majors had the chance to establish connections with professionals in over 80 areas of work at the university’s annual career fair on Oct. 9.
The event was especially tailored towards upperclassmen who will enter the professional world soon after graduation.
Lauren Cole, career services coordinator, said this year’s fair was the largest one yet and the first in Trojan Arena.
“We really have a big span of majors,” Cole said. “I think it’s one of the best things we do. We can’t always hand every student a job, you know, on a silver platter kind of a thing, but we can orchestrate opportunities for them to meet face to face and to network.”
Businesses came from across the state to search for new hires, including some governmental agencies from the state capital.
“We tend to always have a good contingency of state agencies,” Cole said. “You’ve got the Department of Corrections that might be kind of oriented towards criminal justice. You got Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs that’s environmental. You’ve got transportation, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.”
While discussing some businesses represented at the fair, Cole stressed that it is not just business majors they are looking to hire.
“Alfa Insurance who, yes, they’re insurance and all that, but they often are hiring in computer science and information systems because they’re really growing their IT department,” Cole said. “So, don’t take it just at face value.”
Cole said students should consider the look and quality of photos that are seen by potential employers. The fair offered professional headshots for free to give students another option besides selfies and blurry photos.
“They [students] need to start thinking about their presence on social media and using some of these more professional looking photos,” Cole said.
Shazzmi Cochran is a human services major from Camden, Alabama. While waiting in line to receive a professional headshot, Cochran discussed how she is working to expand her portfolio.
“I plan on going to med school after I graduate in December 2020, and from there I really wish to become an anesthesiologist so of course my portfolio means everything,” Cochran said.
“It’s the way you talk, the way you look, the way you carry yourself; so if you can see me as well as read my autobiography then it kind of makes it more easier for you to grasp a hold of the person that I am.”
Cole said she believes it is wise for students to create a LinkedIn account, as well as establish a hireable presence online.
“The first thing that employers are going to do as they’re starting to go back through those resumes is Google them and look up their social media accounts, so that’s one good thing they [students] can do immediately,” Cole said.
Students who have questions about employment, resume building, interviewing and more can visit the Career Services website at my.troy.edu/career-services.