Dustin Steinhoff, Staff Writer
Job seekers from all around the St. Louis area gathered on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus to meet with over 100 companies who set up booths at the UMSL Spring Career Fair.
The UMSL Spring Career Fair took place on March 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Mark Twain Building. The event gave attendees the chance to network with businesses, discuss scholarships and job positions, and get into contact with graduate schools. 131 organizations were registered to take part in the career fair. The wide variety of companies included businesses such as TD Ameritrade, Edward Jones, BJC HealthCare, Walmart, Ameren, and Centene.
Tiffany Vo, junior, business administration, attended the career fair in order to build her resume. Vo was able to meet with representatives from businesses such as Commerce Bank, TD Ameritrade, Nidec, and Sikich.
“The career fair has helped me focus on my resume and prepare me for interviews,” Vo said.
Accounting and business administration management major Caleb Callahan went to the career fair interested in internship opportunities.
“I was looking for an internship in the summer of 2018. There are a bunch of good companies here and any of them would be a good company to work for,” Callahan said.
While some attendees may have known what companies they were wanting to get into contact with prior to attending the career fair, others experienced encountering companies that they may have not otherwise gotten into contact with.
“I just talked to Centene Corporation which I had heard of before, but I was not completely familiar with it,” Callahan said. “The [representative] was really nice and she is actually going to have someone come interview me.”
Career fairs can also help someone find what position they want to look for in their career field.
“I came in here asking, ‘What do you have in business? I am really open to anything.’ During this time, I have realized a lot of them have this business analyst [position] which seems really interesting to me,” Callahan said. “This is something I have looked into a little bit, but did not know a lot about, so I have been able to get a lot of information about it. It has been really beneficial and seems like a really good path to follow.”
The career fair was not only available for UMSL students and alumni. Jason Keith attended the career fair with a friend of his, who is an UMSL graduate.
“We both work at the same job and we both wanted new employment. He told me about the career fair, and luckily, we were both off on the same day, so we decided to come check it out,” Keith said. “There are a lot of companies I got the chance to talk to and learn some information that I would not have known if I had not done that.”
The career fair also gave attendees the opportunity to meet with members of the companies in-person, an opportunity unavailable when applying for a job online.
“[The career fair] is a chance to network, meet people, have that face-to-face connection that you would not have if you just applied online,” said Webster graduate Simi Dahoro.
While attendees may not know if they have landed their job position or internships yet, many view the experience as a successful one.
“I have got seven or eight companies I have given my resume to. They said they would look into things and get back to me. Obviously not every one of them is going to come out with something, but I have a pretty good feeling that one in those eight or nine companies is going to have something that you can do. I would definitely say it has been beneficial,” Callahan said.