On both Sept. 24 and 25, Pinnacle Bank Area will host the 2019 Fall Career Fair from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The first day offers opportunities for students to connect with employers involved in business, social and human services, agricultural sciences and natural resources and government and nonprofits. The second day brings employers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
If students need a ride to Pinnacle Bank Arena to get to the Career Fair, there will be a shuttle provided for transportation. On day one, a shuttle will run on city campus from the Nebraska Union (loading zone south of the Nebraska Union on R Street) to Pinnacle Bank Arena. Shuttles will also run from the East Campus Union (loading zone at 37th and Fair streets) to Pinnacle Bank Arena on the first day. On the second day, the shuttle will run the same route from the Nebraska Union to Pinnacle Bank Arena. For both days, shuttles will run approximately every 20 minutes from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The UNL Career Services office can be found in the Nebraska Union on the second floor. The members of Career Services play a large part in coordinating the fair by renting the venue and registering employers, but they also receive integral help from the Career Fair Planning Committee. The Committee employs Career Services Professionals who collaborate in planning the event with other colleges, including the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering and more.
Mallory Wallace works at the Career Services office as the assistant director of employer and internship strategy. She is passionate about providing aid to students with all things related to finding their future career. She encourages students to attend the career fair for a multitude of reasons such as networking and meeting potential employers.
“We live in a culture now where it’s really important to connect with people,” Wallace said. “The career fair is the best place to go and make a connection with an employer. Beyond that, it’s also good for professional development, learning how to network, learning how to introduce yourself.”
Wallace also noted that many people tend to think of career fairs as a place just for career opportunities, but she says the fair offers much more like chances for students and employers to network. Happening before the official fair is the Reverse Career Fair, where employers are able to engage with recognized student organizations and a spot to take professional photos for LinkedIn and Handshake accounts. Additionally, the career fair is a great place to interact and learn more about other employers than through a website. She advises students to go to career fairs early in their college career to become more aware of what it takes to be successful in connecting with employers and finding future careers.
Wallace said there are two ways students can be prepared for the career fair. She recommends students bring resumes to hand out at the fair. If they need help crafting or refining their resume, Career Services offers a resume lab at its office that runs from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. every weekday. Students can walk straight in — with no appointment needed — and receive help on their resumes. The second way to get ready for the fair is to research employers they would like to speak with. Employers have signed up on Handshake, so students can go to the Career Fair event on its website or app to find employers and research who they would like to converse with.
For junior psychology and international business major Luiza Benvenuti, the career fair is a useful tool in helping her make connections with future employers.
“I’m going to the career fair with the intent of talking with employers, increasing my networking and possibly getting an interview for an internship,” she said.
There will be many Nebraska employers, and even some national employers present at the fair. There are 25 employers that are part of Husker Circle, a group of employers who specifically hire lots of students. Some of the Husker Circle employers include Assurity, Kiewit, Nelnet and Sandhills. Outside of Nebraska, there will also be Conagra Brands, ExxonMobil, Experian and more.
Employers attending the fair receive invitations from Career Services. The ones who register for the fair are specifically interested in hiring UNL students because of their potential. More employers have signed up this year compared to previous years.
If you have time to make it to the fair, it’s an invaluable experience to have.
“Students should go to the career fair because it’s an awesome way to make connections, learn more about the companies you’re already interested in and find out about different opportunities,” Benvenuti said.