Career & Internship Fair gains interest

The Spring Career & Internship Fair hosts 13 more tables than the Fall Fair.

Featured Image: Students visit tables of employers, including with representatives from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Kazuki Yamada | Courtesy

Virginia Wesleyan University’s Career Development Program (CDP) held the VWU Spring 2023 Career & Internship Fair on March 9 in the Jane P. Batten Student Center from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The event was a partnership between the CDP and Wesleyan Engaged and combined career, internship and volunteer opportunities. It was held to allow students to connect with a variety of businesses and employers who provide opportunities to learn and gain experience in a wide variety of industries. 

The CDP is in a position to bring students and employers together; their main activities are assisting students in discovering their professional interests and pathways and developing plans to achieve them. They offer various services such as internship and externship opportunities that enable meaningful career development. 

CDP resources are available to all students from first-years thinking about career options to seniors who are getting ready for employment after graduation. It is their mission to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity. The Career & Internship Fair is one way that this is accomplished.

Director of Career Development Alice Jones discussed the effort it takes to host one of these events. 

“It takes a lot of work and collaboration from different areas,” Jones said. This collaboration includes working with Wesleyan Engaged, a campus-based organization which promotes a culture of service and civic responsibility among students and faculty. 

Preparation for the event also includes complicated scheduling, marketing and local partnerships to raise awareness and connect with employers to get them on campus for students. Despite the effort it takes to pull off a fair, Jones takes pleasure in successfully connecting employers to students and hearing later that their internship and volunteer experiences were beneficial.

Employers who attended the fair had various choices for student engagement. All of them had company information tables where they could have their displays and information about their company to hand out in the student center. This allowed them and students to speak informally with each other.

There were also rooms reserved for company presentations on different topics related to careers or specifically about their organization and opportunities. In addition, there was the option to schedule interviews through pre-selection prior to the event or open appointments on the day of the event.

Companies that attended had local affiliations but also came from a wide array of different industries. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) was one of the local companies that participated. CBF provided information on a variety of volunteer and internship opportunities, such as stream monitoring, habitat restoration or helping with education and outreach activities like leading school groups on field trips or staffing information booths at public events. 

In addition, internships are offered in different areas such as communications, education and science. Potential interns can work on real-world projects and gain valuable experience in the environmental field and the CBF table seemed to be a crowd favorite as it was busy throughout the fair. 

Another association was Volunteer Hampton Roads, a local non-profit organization based in Norfolk, Va. that connects volunteers with local organizations and causes in the Hampton Roads region. They have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for students, including one-time events and ongoing commitments in areas such as animal welfare, arts and culture, education, the environment, health and wellness and social services. 

Other tables represented local employment agencies for area youth, which can include VWU students, such as the Virginia Beach Summer Youth Employment Program. This group assists in the hiring of youth from 16 to 21 years old for meaningful paid summer work experience. Employees can learn entrepreneurial skills and gain experiences to build their resumes.

All tables, including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Volunteer Hampton Roads, proved successful at this Spring’s Career & Internship Fair. In comparison to the Fall Career & Internship Fair, the Spring Fair attracted more interest. The event increased from 30 tables in the Fall to 43 tables in the Spring.

VWU students also showed appreciation for the Spring 2023 Career & Internship Fair. 

“I think it’s great that VWU put in so much effort to get all of these companies here. I found about three or four internship opportunities that might be good for this summer,” sophomore Luke Pride said.

Junior Kevin Williams felt a similar way about the fair.

“I didn’t realize how many choices and opportunities there were for volunteering and chances to build my resume. I also like how everyone seems pretty local and hopefully easy to get to from campus,” Williams said. 

Pride and Williams were among many VWU talkative and excited students that attended the fair on March 9.

By Kamal Womack