With rising demands to create meaningful connections between students and their industries, the Career Center is happy to share a new event coined, the “career meet-ups.”
The career meet-ups are designed as smaller, industry-specific events to serve majors typically underrepresented at larger-scale career fairs. This type of event not only gives students a chance to learn from industry professionals, but provides an on-campus branding avenue for organizations unable to attend career fairs.
“They were meant to be not just a networking opportunity, but also an educational opportunity, so that students can learn about what kinds of pathways might fall under a certain industry area,” Ashley Motley, assistant director and liaison to the College of Arts and Sciences, said.
This past year, the Health and Social Services Career Meet-Ups were the first to try out the new format.
“We have been following some other thought leaders in the career services field, and this notion of ‘hyper-networking’ is something that is a best practice among many of our peers,” Kerri Keller, executive director, said.
Students and employers alike responded positively with comments such as:
“I liked the casual feel of this event. It made it comfortable to open up and make connections.”
“Having students be able to join in on the conversation at any time helped the conversation flow really well. The way the event was set-up also made it less intimidating and more approachable.”
“Rather than being a full career fair, naming the specialized services led to good conversations and getting to discuss more aspects of programs.”
Here are some quick tips for employers wishing to attend upcoming meet-ups:
- Bring materials such as brochures, company handouts or business cards
- Business casual attire is recommended. Company shirts or polos work best.
- Be open to talking about your career path. Some students are looking to learn about your career and your company.
- If you are looking to fill positions, have a clear action plan for students to apply or follow-up.
- As a more relaxed event, students will tend to walk up and join a conversation, rather than waiting in line like at a large career fair.
“I can definitely see this model working in some other areas as well. I do think that for us it’s a low cost option and it’s also low cost to employers, so we’re able to bring in some of those employers that maybe don’t have huge recruitment budgets,” Dana Nordyke, senior assistant director and liaison to the College of Human Ecology, said. “There are a lot of benefits to using this model, and I think we’ll likely add in some more events like this.”
For more information about upcoming events as they’re posted, visit the Career Center website.