Keeping up with new trends in Spring Career Fairs

March 16, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Susan Sandberg

‘Tis the season: Career Fairs are popping up on campuses nationwide.  With the growing popularity of multiple internships for each student, schools are promoting career fairs as excellent opportunities for internships as well as jobs. Many schools have created innovative programs to draw more recruiters.

The following career fairs illustrate new trends around the country:

  • The University of Maryland at College Park reports that it has been ranked #8 nationally in a listing by the Wall Street Journal of top schools at which employers like to recruit. The university offers a Spring Networking Series 2011, highlighting specific career fields.  The series includes a Criminal Justice Career & Internship Fair, Architecture, Real Estate, Planning, and Preservation Career & Internships Fair, Liberal Arts Access2Alumni Career & Internship Fair for liberal arts-friendly employers, and a Health Professions Career & Internship Fair. Trend:  Offering increased services to help Liberal Arts students and presenting individual fairs for specific fields.
  • Grand Valley State University will host two job fairs, one in partnership with Michigan’s Department of Human Services. The state plans to hire more than 500 highly qualified graduates to work in children’s protective services, foster care, adoption, juvenile and home licensing services. The Department of Human Services is partnering with five colleges and universities statewide for a series of three-day recruitment and interview events to reach a diverse pool of applicants. Trend: Growing participation of government agencies to partner with schools in recruiting for internships and jobs.
  • University of Illinois at Chicago offers two job fairs focusing on special interests. The Education Job Fair is for anyone seeking teaching, school social work, and educational administrative jobs. The UIC Spring Diversity Career Fair is for anyone seeking full time, part time, or internship positions. Cost for both fairs:  Free for UIC, UIUC, and UIS students and alumni with proof. $10 for the general public. Trend: Recognizing the importance of helping education majors and minority groups find meaningful positions in the workplace and inviting the public for a fee to attend the university fair.
  • University of Iowa estimates that 1,300 UI students and alumni will connect with more than 120 employers in search of employment and internship opportunities. Sponsors of the fair are CH Robinson, Coyote Logistics, CRST International Inc., HNI Corporation and Target Stores. Student Hospitality Area Sponsors are CH Robinson, Coyote Logistics, CRST International, Inc., HNI Corporation, Kohl’s Department Stores, MyTernNow/Priority One, Pella Corporation and Target Stores. Trend:  Increasing the use of sponsors to build business relationships and reduce school costs.
  • Unpaid Internships:  Elephant in the Room, an article that appeared in the Huffington Post on Feb. 22, addresses the unpaid internship debate. Written by Robin Richards, CEO of—the world’s largest internship marketplace—the article asks, “Is it an economic dilemma that employers need to tackle? Is it a social debate where public opinion will determine what’s fair? Or is it a political (read: legislative) quandary for the government to figure out?” Richards says it’s all three and explains why. He also reports that approximately 34% of internships listed on are paid and those paid internships receive four times the quantity of applications than unpaid ones. To learn more, follow this link.

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