In response to the coronavirus pandemic, UND will hold its fall career fair online.
The three-day career fair, which starts Tuesday, Sept. 22, will put more than 100 companies in touch with hundreds more UND students in a virtual format. Moving the annual job-searching event online means students need to put in more time signing up for specific sessions with recruiters, who may be making their appearances from anywhere in the country.
“I feel like this year students have to do a little bit more preparation up front,” said Mary Feller, career coach and mentor coordinator at UND. “They can't just print off 10 resumes and show up the day of the Career Expo in a suit and be able to visit with recruiters, like they could in the past.”
Students need to update their resumes on UND’s online platform, then sign up and attend sessions with recruiters. An added challenge this year is for students to make sure their technology is up to date, with a secure internet connection.
According to Fuller, the online nature of the career fair means students need to work on “perfecting that elevator pitch, when they are in that one-on-one session to hopefully secure an interview, after the meet and greets.”
Jen Proulx, event coordinator for UND, said the transition from an in-person to online job fair was “fairly smooth,” because the university already owns the software necessary to facilitate the meetings.
Though event planning looks very different this year -- there’s no need to set up booths and catering at the Alerus Center -- overall goals of the fair have not changed.
“We’re still able to connect students with companies,” Proulx said. “It’s awesome.”
There are 107 companies expected to virtually attend Tuesday’s event, which is slightly down from last year when 115 attended. Proulx said she’s pleased with that number, and she noted companies from across the country are able to attend, and without the travel cost. About 500 students are set to participate in Tuesday’s session, which is on par with last year’s numbers.
The career fair will start for students in the engineering and technology disciplines. Wednesday’s sessions will be for the aerospace disciplines, and Thursday’s sessions are for students in the health, business, liberal arts and education disciplines. Sessions each day run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.