Caleigh Hankins wasn’t quite sure what to expect last September when she began the process of looking for internship opportunities.
A sophomore construction science and management major, Hankins had never attended a Clemson University Career Fair in person, let alone attempted to manage the process in a virtual setting due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
“I was not quite sure how doing it virtually would go, but it worked out very nicely,” she said. “I was able to talk to more companies one on one in a shorter period of time, which helped with my class schedule. I spent some time in a queuing system for several companies, but I used the time waiting to read up on the company or do homework.”
She also wasted little time preparing for whatever opportunity came her way. She met with a career ambassador in the Michelin Career Center for one on one feedback, did a mock interview as part of the center’s “Blitz Day” and attended an interview preparation workshop.
The hard work paid off in a big way. She landed an internship opportunity this summer with Barringer Construction in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is slated to work in a variety of areas, ranging from preconstruction to project management to site work. Hankins expects mentorship from all levels of the company operation and cross-training with industry partners.
Hankins first interviewed with Barringer on September 30 at Clemson’s virtual fair and followed with two additional interviews before landing a position with the company.
“I am very excited. I’ve had jobs before — such as a swim coach or lifeguard — but this will be what I would term my first ‘big girl job,’” she said. “They have quite a few women that work for them and that is not the case with many construction companies. One of the sectors they work in is multi-family and I would really like to design and build places people live in one day.”
Clemson students just like Hankins will have another opportunity to meet with prospective employers in the coming weeks. The Spring Career Fair — also set to be held virtually — will take place January 26-28 from 1-6 p.m. each day, with extended hours for aspiring education professionals on the final day from 4-7 p.m. Students are encouraged to register at ClemsonJobLink, upload an updated résumé and research attending companies in advance.
Michelin Career Center staff will be available to students throughout the week leading up to the virtual fair to offer assistance in several ways:
• On January 20-21, select employers will be available from 4:30-5:30 p.m. to show students how to navigate the fair, make a good first impression and foster meaningful connections. REGISTER HERE.
• Virtual mini-mock interviews will take place from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on January 21, allowing students to practice interview skills with employers or counselors over Zoom. REGISTER HERE.
• The center will hold a virtual resume blitz on two separate days, January 22 and 25, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1:30-3:45 p.m. Employers and career counselors will offer valuable one-on-one critiques. REGISTER HERE.
Hankins is quick to vouch for her experience working with the Career Center.
“Until last fall’s virtual fair, I had never really interacted with the Michelin Career Center,” she said. “I was very impressed; they do an excellent job of recruiting a lot of different companies from across the United States. It was very well organized and makes me quite proud to be a Clemson student.”