The Lighthouse held a virtual fall career & internship fair on Nov. 18, 1-4 p.m. on Handshake, a virtual platform where students can list their courses, experiences and connect with employers, for students to have the opportunity to have a group or one-on-one sessions with employers of several companies. Prior registration was required to participate in the fair.
Employers from Virginia Beach City VA Public Schools, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation, YMCA of South Hampton Roads and United States Army Medical Department are just a few of the organizations and companies that attended the virtual fall career & internship fair. Representatives from several colleges in Virginia also attended the virtual event such as the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University and more universities.
Jessica Harrington, director of career development at the Lighthouse, shared, “The planning started over in the summer. It’s been a little hectic and a tighter schedule because of adapting to a new platform. We’re contemplating on using Handshake prior to the end of the semester. The purpose of the event is not losing the ability for students to connect with employers despite COVID-19. Students are looking for internship opportunities and want to help them in the process of finding internships and employment. It’s a great way for students to meet with employers in one-on-one sessions.”
50 students registered for the virtual fair. Even though the professional event will not be held on campus, Harrington was optimistic about how students could take advantage of the opportunities despite it being in a virtual setting, “One of the big goals is having a solid student turnout. We’re hoping to have a good turnout to attend the virtual. The spring fair last year had 65 employers attend. For introverted students, it can be intimidating to them to meet employers and this event takes off the pressure of being online,” Harrington said.
Katie Costin, a senior majoring in business and a work-study student in the Lighthouse, helped plan the virtual fall career and internship fair as a project for her marketing class to help students find job and internship opportunities. “I work for the Lighthouse and my partner and I was looking at different topic ideas for the project. We wanted to do something different and out-of-the-box to complete our honors credit. Not only do we get hands-on management skills but develop additional skills for our resume. This also benefits the student body and kinda makes the semester slightly more normal,” Costin said.
Additionally, Costin added, “Being that it’s virtual opens up opportunities for one-on-one sessions with employers. The individual and group sessions allow students to have more flexibility by scheduling it. In-person career and internship fairs have a limited amount of space, so a virtual experience allows more companies and organizations to attend.”
Ashanti Kincannon, a senior majoring in earth and environmental sciences, registered for the virtual fair, “My personal and professional goals for attending the virtual fall career fair include, getting more practice with interviewing, being able to ask questions, reviewing expectations as well as having exposure to employers in a virtual setting,” Kincannon said.“Not only does a virtual setting provide convenience for students who can attend from the comfort of their dorm room or home, but it also gives students the experience with virtual interviews which seem to be becoming more relevant and possibly the new normal.”
By Tiffany Warren