By: Troy Gooch
Students gathered at the annual Mastodon Job and Internship Fair earlier this month to look for job opportunities, internships and connections. The event, organized by Career Services, took place on Tuesday, October 1, in the Lutheran Health Fieldhouse at Purdue University Fort Wayne.
The Mastodon Job and Internship Fair had 145 employers from the state of Indiana who were looking to hire students on the spot, and for interns during the upcoming summer. Students and outsiders had various opportunities to connect with recruiters throughout the day.
Leading up to the fair, Career Services provided events for students to get prepared for their upcoming week by offering free haircuts and the opportunity to get their resume reviewed by a professional.
Susan Byers, the executive director of Career Services at Purdue University Fort Wayne provided some insight on the Mastodon Job and Internship Fair. Byers said the event is beneficial for all students because seniors can make relationships with employers for the near future, while underclassmen can also network and become more seasoned to the whole process of this event.
Career Services is an on-campus department that prepares students for the job market. They help create resumes and provide practice job interviews which prepares students for the future. Byers said that the staff also talked with employers about other opportunities to connect with students, such as the ‘Immersion Excursions’ and the ‘Lunch and Learn’ events. This allows recruiters the opportunity to spend more time connecting with students one-on-one.
Many of the 145 employers at the Mastodon Job and Internship Fair – 20 more than last year provided their company’s understanding of what they want from an employee.
“When looking for an employee, I am a firm believer that experience is a plus, but I don’t necessarily think that it is a definite deal breaker,” said Renna Jennings, a human resources generalist from Fort Financial Credit Union. “I obviously think you hire on character and train on experience.”
“It is always nice recruiting from your backyard, and the several employees from Purdue University Fort Wayne have been reliable for our company in the past,” Jennings said.
Another popular company that students talked to was The Autism Society of Indiana. Samantha Drudge a supervisor at this organization, said they have many internships and job opportunities available for students upon graduation.
“We are looking for someone who can be fun and outgoing,” Drudge said. “We work with kids and adults with autism so, finding that person who can help others out with a outgoing personality is a perfect balance.”
With many companies attending this event, there were plenty of opportunities for undergraduates to connect with recruiters and find employment. Many students graduating this semester came out in search of a job. Faculty, staff and students had the opportunity to connect with recruiters during this event.
Kolbie Knorr, a senior business major, said she felt prompted to go to this event because she had previously worked with one of the companies at the Fair and wanted to tell the recruiter she is still interested in the company upon graduation.
“Today was extremely beneficial to me,” Knorr said. “I was able to meet my number one company, and I had the opportunity to meet other recruiters that I was not aware of until I came here this afternoon.”
The next Mastodon Job and Internship Fair organized by Career Services will occur on Thursday, April 2, 2020.