DUBOIS, Pa. — A unique opportunity for career exploration was attended by nearly 100 Penn State DuBois students on Wednesday (March 28). The Networking Luncheon and Career Fair, organized by the campus Office of Career Services, featured more than 50 companies looking to recruit new talent. The career fair setting allowed students to meet and network with employer representatives, and discover what kind of career opportunities those companies currently offer. The career fair was also open to members of the public, allowing anyone in the community the chance to help further their career.
The Networking Luncheon for campus students was held prior to the career fair, and is intended to take the entire event to a higher level of quality for those attending. Business representatives were seated with students whose majors aligned with the education those businesses look for in potential employees, giving students an additional, and more intimate, chance to interact with people already working in their fields of interest.
Penn State DuBois Career Services Coordinator Anna Akintunde explained, "Networking is the most effective way of landing a job. It doesn’t matter whether you are a freshmen or a senior, it offers you the advantage of networking and building relationships that may lead to great opportunities whether that be an internship or a new job upon graduation. Students who have attended in the past have described the Networking Luncheon as not only a great way to connect with opportunities, but an excellent way to meet employers and talk more personally with them in a low-pressure and relaxed atmosphere. The job fair offers yet another opportunity for networking while also providing you the ability to gather field specific information in a time effective and less costly manner."
Students who attended both the networking lunch and the job fair echoed Akintunde's thoughts. Student Dan Hinton, a junior and business major with an interest in working in human resources, noted, "This provides opportunities for me to get myself out there; to get my name to companies and find opportunities I wouldn't have on my own."
Hinton praised Akintunde for her dedication to helping students, saying, "If I didn't have Anna, I wouldn't have the opportunities that I do."
Those representing area employers at the career fair appreciated the added depth the event provides through the networking lunch, as well. Becca Kear represented Penn Highlands Healthcare where she works as a recruiter. "Events like this help us get out into the community and meet new people who we can hook up with careers; not just jobs, but a career for their whole life," Kear said. "It's nice that at these events people are really well prepared, with résumés ready. That's a real plus."
Kear herself is a Penn State DuBois alumna, who attended career events on campus as a student. She graduated with a degree in business and marketing in 2013. She added, "It's always nice to come back to your home base. I know how well people are prepared here, and I know the type of education they get here."
This event was sponsored by the DuBois Educational Foundation, the Penn State DuBois Alumni Society and GKN Sinter Metals.
Akintunde said making contact at events like this is proven to produce results on both sides of the job market. The data she collected from this event last year shows that of those in attendance, 65 percent of employers said they left with potential hires, 77 percent of employers said they left with potential interns, 26 percent of students said they left with potential employment, and 87 percent of students said they left with an internship lead, which could possibly lead to full-time employment.