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Jobs expo covers the bases for students and employers

Photo by Tevin Stinson

Jobs expo covers the bases for students and employers
September 28
05:00 2017

 

It’s never too early to start planning for your future, and last week hundreds of students on the campus of Winston-Salem State University did just that that during the Career Internship Graduate School Expo.

On Thursday, Sept. 21 the gymnasium inside the Donald Julian Reaves Student Activities Center was transformed into a one-stop shop for post graduate options. The event hosted by the Career Development Services department featured 80 regional employers and graduate programs.

Companies like Inmar, Herbalife, United Health and Reynolds American were all on hand to scout the talent in “Ram Country”. Colleges and universities that participated in the expo included North Carolina Central University, High Point University, Campbell University, Wingate and countless others. No matter your major, or classification the expo guaranteed to have something intriguing for every student.

After chatting with a representative from Aramark, a food service, facilities and uniform service provider, junior computer science major Eric Colquhoun said he was excited to learn about the various graduate opportunities at the expo.

“I’ve learned a lot just by talking to some of the employers and people here today,” he continued. “Specifically, the graduate schools in computer science. I also learned a lot about opportunities in CSIT.”

Although Colquhoun had his mind set on graduate school he said the expo also offered several opportunities for students who aren’t sure what they want to do after college.

“There are a lot of companies here that are looking for a variety of students. Many of the companies here are looking for any student with a Bachelor’s degree so I think that’s great,” said Colquhoun. “They have been very helpful they have an answer for every question I had and if they didn’t they put me in contact with someone who did.”

Other students like junior Kyishem Swain were looking for internships at the event. Swain who is a sports management major said, “I really enjoyed the expo because it gave me a chance to see what’s really out there.”

Donna Rogers, managing editor at The Chronicle, said she was looking for students who were looking for internship opportunities at the newspaper. Several Mass Communications students stopped by her table.

“We want to help students achieve their goals, and this is one good way to do that,” Rogers said. “The students will help us produce good newspapers, with our guidance. It’s a win-win situation.”

Just like Homecoming in the fall, or Ramdition at the beginning of each school year, the Career Internship Graduate School Expo has become a tradition at WSSU. Lamonica Sloan-Wilhelmi, career development services director, said her department has been hosting the event for more than 20 years.

“What we focus on here is making sure every student engages in a co-curricular experience that includes internships or undergraduate research, so this is our way of inviting employers out to engage with our students,” she continued. “We help our students navigate that conversation and teach them how to sell their skills.”

While some may think job fairs and career expos are a thing of a past because it’s not a formal setting, Sloan-Wilhelmi says that isn’t the case. She said, “They are utilizing their resources to connect with the best and the brightest. They wouldn’t be here on our campus today if they weren’t trying to hire our students.

“We see it as a great way for our students to have conversations with employers while at the same time learning areas they may need to work on,” Sloan-Wilhelmi said.  

Although the expo was only one day, Sloan-Wilhelmi said they continue to work with students throughout the school year to help map out their futures. She said her department also helps students with thank you letters, follow-up emails, and interview arrangements. Students also had the opportunity to take professional head shots during the expo. A similar event is scheduled for the spring.

Any employer who would like to connect with students at WSSU should contact Career Development Services director Lamonica Sloan-Wilhelmi at 336-750-3261.  

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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