DUBOIS – More than just a job fair, a unique event for jobseekers at Penn State DuBois offered a comprehensive look at local employment prospects, complete with networking opportunities and job interviews.
The Networking Luncheon and Career Fair was held in the campus gymnasium on Wednesday, and featured representatives from 42 businesses and organizations ranging from manufacturing, to law enforcement, to healthcare.
The event was organized by the campus offices of Student Affairs and Career Services. It kicked off with a luncheon for Penn State students and employers, where attendees were able to network and share information.
In this more casual setting, students were able to hear what local companies were looking for in employees. After lunch, the industry representatives remained for a formal career fair that was also open to the public, providing a more in-depth profile for students and other jobseekers interested in their companies.
“This event is a wonderful opportunity for students to network with employers and build relationships that can lead them to potential employment in the future,” said Anna Akintunde, campus career services counselor.
“The event is designed for students at every level. Student can do everything from build relationships with employers, find a lead on an internship or actually obtain an interview with an employer hiring for a full time job.”
Those opportunities for relationship building pay off. Director of Student Affairs Rebecca Pennington said events like this are proven to benefit both jobseekers and employers.
“Students learn to network and get their name out there and they learn to convey themselves professionally. They also learn the importance of participating in an array of out of class experiences that can give them the skills that employers are looking for,” Pennington said.
“Last year 55 percent of students who attended this event felt they left with a potential job or internship lead and 82 percent of employers felt they left the event with a potential hire.”
The students who attended found that the extra activities offered in addition to the career fair were very beneficial. Jeremy Shoffstall of Brookville will graduate in May with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing and management. He would like to stay in the area as he embarks on a career, and was on the hunt for local jobs Wednesday.
“I think it’s amazing,” Shoffstall said of the career and networking event. “It helps reduce the nerves to get to know people better and learn about their business in a casual atmosphere.”
For the employers, the Networking Luncheon and Career Fair served as a venue for recruiting quality employees who just completed their education at Penn State DuBois.
“It helps us to meet lots of possible candidates, and is an opportunity for a pre-interview,” said Sheila Hockman, human resources coordinator for Brookville Equipment Company.
“We can then go back and share information on candidates with others at the office, and have learned more about them than we can learn from a paper résumé. It can really help us to hire more rapidly.”