Record number of employers coming to fair

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SVSU Career Services will host the annual Fall University-wide Employment & Networking Fair on Friday, Oct. 13, from noon until 3 p.m.

With over 140 employers already pre-registered to attend, the fair will set the employer attendance record for all of Career Services’ past Fall University-wide Employment Fairs.

Tom Barnikow, one of the assistant directors of Career Services, said this is the first year that the office will use both the banquet rooms and the seminar rooms in Curtiss Hall for the fair.

“We’ve set a new record again this year, which has happened every year for the past five years,” Barnikow said. “And it’s a trend that we’re seeing within all of our employment fairs.”

Career Services hosts eight different employment fairs on campus every year, both university-wide and industry specific. Barnikow said that Career Services encourages students to attend the fairs they offer multiple times.

“We try to give all students an opportunity to locate either their perfect career or their perfect internship or co-op,” Barnikow said. “The employment fairs are a way for students and employers to connect.”

Barnikow believes one of the main reasons that employer attendance is increasing is due to the interpersonal communication skills students continually bring to the fairs.

“It’s hard for (employers) to learn about the soft skills of applicants, because that’s something you can’t read on a piece of paper,” he said. “(The employers are) coming to these employment fairs to learn about a person’s interpersonal communication skills and to ask them questions to gauge their problem-solving skills. The employment fairs are a way for students to show those skills that don’t come across in an electronic application.”

Barnikow said attendance is also increasing as SVSU alumni in the workforce push their employers to return to the university and recruit more students.

“As more of our students get jobs and careers with these employers, they are doing so well that the employers are saying, ‘We need more SVSU students,’” Barnikow said. “The more that (the alumni) can push, the more it not only helps our current students, but it helps our university as a whole create better relationships with the community of employers that we serve.”

Carl Gardner and Amy Smith are both SVSU seniors working as campus ambassadors for Quicken Loans, one of SVSU’s Employer Partners. Both Gardner and Smith started out as summer interns for Quicken Loans through networking with the company’s recruiters at SVSU’s employment fairs.

Gardner, a finance and economics major, said the fairs are helpful for students in any class standing.

“The sooner you go, the better,” he said. “You have the opportunity to network with so many different people and different companies. It’s exposure to the professional world.”

Smith, a communication major and psychology minor, agreed with Gardner.

“I highly recommend employment fairs to anyone interested in a future job,” she said. “Employment fairs hold so many opportunities. It’s incredible.”

Students and alumni can pre-register for the employment fair on the Cardinal Career Network. Pre-registering expedites the check-in process and allows students to receive nametags pre-printed with their name and major. Students are required to dress professionally for the fair and also have the opportunity to have a professional photo taken for free.

Career Services will host the university’s next fair, the Health & Human Services Employment Fair, on Thursday, Nov. 16, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Health & Human Services building. Thirty-five employers have pre-registered to attend.