Alumni recruiters from companies such as Carmax, including Fred Cross ’02, are coming to career fairs thanks to the efforts of Alumni and Career Services.
Career fairs have the amazing power to open up new worlds for Longwood students.
For Amelia Erickson ’18, M.S. ’19, it will be a tiny Yup’ik village in the Alaska bush, 422 air miles west of Anchorage.
Erickson will begin teaching this fall at Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat School in Quinhagak, Alaska, along with her best friend, Makayla Hostetter ’17, M.S. ’19, as a result of meeting a recruiter from that school division at Longwood’s education fair in March. Erickson had to talk Hostetter, who couldn’t attend the fair, into applying for a job with the same school division. “Makayla told me I was crazy, but I said, ‘Think about the adventure,’” Erickson said with a laugh.
The education fair, the largest for employer participation (71 schools this year), is one of seven career fairs held every academic year by Alumni and Career Services. The largest for student participation, the job and internship fair attracted more than 350 students this March, more than double the number who attended a year earlier.
Lauren Perreault ’19, landed her position as assistant manager with Park Properties in Charlottesville, which she started in June, by attending this year’s job and internship fair.
“Career fairs are a good chance to dip your toes into the world of job hunting. Even if you don’t get a job offer or interview from it, it’s still great practice,” she said.
Most career fairs are specialized. The ones this fall will focus on accounting (Sept. 10), law enforcement (Sept. 25) and nursing (Nov. 7), in addition to the job, internship and graduate school fair set for Oct. 9. Alumni who would like their company to participate in a fair are encouraged to contact Teresa Dodson (434-395- 2445, firstname.lastname@example.org).
“In a nutshell, we’re trying to connect students with employers, often represented by alumni, in order to create more opportunities including jobs and internships,” said Dodson, Longwood’s assistant director of employer engagement and internship services.
In a related effort that began last fall, Alumni and Career Services is deepening what Dodson called its “professional engagement” with companies that employ a large number of Longwood alumni, as well as with the alums themselves, through Lancer Lunches held on site at the workplaces.
Chris Tunstall ’88, assistant vice president of human resources at the Federal Reserve, hosted a Lancer Lunch in February and, along with Catie Busch ’09, recruited at the job and internship fair the next month. He hired Kathryn Miller ’19 as an intern this summer. He’ll be back on campus for the job, internship and graduate school fair in October.