Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Career Fair Symposium preps business students for exposure to employers


Business students wanting to walk into the Business Career Fair later this month feeling confident, might consider attending a prelude to the event on Thursday, Jan. 17.

Held at the Watt Family Innovation Center from 4-8 p.m., Thursday, the Career Fair Symposium is a primer that prepares students on several levels for the Jan. 24 Career Fair and for this spring’s recruiting season.

Career fairs unite students with employers
Business students are benefiting from a career fair prep session.

“The Career Fair Symposium is a great warm-up for students wanting to put their best foot forward to employers who will be interviewing at the career fair,” said Leah Hughes, the College of Business’ assistant director for career and professional development. “There will be breakout sessions by about a half-dozen employers, and mini-mock interviews followed by critique sessions, that will help students position themselves to employers in the best possible light.”

The business school’s Student Enrichment Office is sponsoring the event, with an assist from several student groups, including the Student Advisory Board, and two other newly formed groups – the Minority Business Student Association (MBSA) and Women in Business.

Parker Tilley, Student Advisory Board chair, and a catalyst behind the college’s first Career Fair Symposium, said helping students prepare for this exposure to employers has been on his radar for a couple of years.

“The Career Fair is such an important day for students. The symposium will help students focus on the qualities and competencies employers are seeking in the recruitment process,” he said. “Helping students feel prepared for what can be a stressful day, can go a long way toward sending the right message to a potential employer.”

Breakout sessions by employers will touch on a variety of career-oriented topics, including how to stand out at the career fair, strategies underrepresented students can use in job searches, negotiation and networking skills and a session on incorporating one’s international learning experiences into resumes and interviews.

“In addition to the group breakout sessions, students can sign up for mini-mock interviews the day of the symposium,” Hughes said. “Recruiters will conduct short interviews with students who sign up, then provide them with feedback on their strengths, and how they can improve.”

The Career Fair Symposium is funded through financial support from First Citizen’s Bank’s CU Business EDGE (Engage Students in Development and Global Experiences) program. The new business school program aims to complement students’ educational experience through a variety of engaging activities that will sharpen their soft skills and help differentiate them in the job market.

Recruiters from scores of businesses will return to campus Jan. 24 for the spring Career Fair-Business Day, which will include recruiters in the business, health care and communications fields. The career fair itself is noon to 4 p.m. at Littlejohn Coliseum. Then, from 5-7 p.m., students can participate in the College of Business Employer Connections Recruiter Reception at the Madren Center. It allows students a chance to reconnect with recruiters in a more relaxed, social setting.

At the reception, accounting firms will also be seeking accounting sophomores to participate in their summer leadership conferences, which are precursors to summer internships.

Parker, a senior finance major, said the symposium aligns with the Student Advisory Board’s goals this year.

“This year, we’ve been focusing on making events like this possible. By partnering with Student Enrichment and the other organizations, we are helping students make themselves, and their Clemson business degrees, more marketable.”

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