Fall virtual career fairs to connect WMU students to job seekers

Contact: Deanne Puca

Virtual interviews are becoming the norm for many students looking to secure their first job or internship. (Getty Images)

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Creating connections that can lead to internships and jobs is vital for Western Michigan University students and recent alumni as well as employers seeking talented candidates. WMU is helping students pursue these opportunities in a safe and significant manner with virtual jobs fairs beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8, and scheduled through Monday, Oct. 19.

Employers have posted thousands of jobs to the online career site Handshake. Representatives from Career and Student Employment Services and the Zhang Career Center have also had conversations with hundreds of employers about their hiring needs.

Using this trove of resources, employers from business firms to graduate schools can reach out to WMU and other area college students, as well as job seekers from the general public.

The new virtual format is safe, convenient and accessible, offering features such as:

  • Avoidance of potential COVID-19 spread by avoiding large gatherings of people shaking hands and exchanging materials. 
  • Support for both text and video chat functions, which allows students and representatives to connect in a similar fashion as an in-person job fair.
  • Ability to run on a web browser, so neither students nor employers need to download and learn any new software.
  • Built-in accessibility and translation tools, which allows the greatest number of students and employer representatives to interact successfully with the software. 

"Our offices are aware that recruiting budgets are impacted by the COVID-19 economy, so we chose a software that allowed us to offer a high-quality experience at an affordable price," says Buffy Nespodzany, assistant director for employer services at Career and Student Employment Services. "This allows the greatest number of employers to connect with the highest number of students."

Registration is not required for students or other job seekers, but it is recommended that participants register on Handshake. To receive information ahead of time about how to use the virtual platform, visit the Career and Student Service resource guide.

Scheduled fairs

  • Part-Time Job Fair Virtual Event —Tuesday, Sept. 8, from 3 to 6 p.m. Those interested in working part time in the Kalamazoo area should attend this virtual fair. Some employers also have internships available. For more information, visit Career and Student Employment Services online. Students can preview the job fair here. Direct your questions to the Employer Engagement Team at career-fair@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2745.
  • Meet the Firms and Accounting Career Fair—Wednesday, Sept. 16, from 3 to 6 p.m. This event acquaints new and returning accountancy students with the accounting firms actively recruiting WMU students. Students can preview the job fair here. Employers can preview the job fair here. To get assistance, visit the Zhang Career Center webpage.
  • Engineering Expo 2020 Virtual Job Fair—Wednesday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Employers from more than 120 companies located in Michigan and around the country are recruiting for co-op, internship and full-time positions.  For more information, visit Career and Student Employment Services online. Students can preview the job fair here. Direct you questions to the Employer Engagement Team at career-fair@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2745.
  • ISM Career Night—Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 3 to 6 p.m. This is a networking opportunity for those who are pursuing internships and entry-level positions in supply chain management. It features employer presentations as well as opportunities to network with representatives from supply chain companies. Students can preview career night here. Employers can preview career night here. To get assistance, visit the Zhang Career Center webpage.
  • Marketing, Sales and Food Marketing Career Night—Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 3 to 6 p.m. This event features opportunities for attendees to network with employers interested in hiring marketing students and graduates. Students can preview career night here. Employers can preview career night here. To get assistance, visit the Zhang Career Center webpage.
  • Business Career Day—Thursday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event is an opportunity to network with employers who are recruiting talent for a wide variety of business functions in different industries. Students can preview career day here. Employers can preview career day here. To get assistance, visit the Zhang Career Center webpage.
  • Finance Career Day—Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 3 to 6 p.m. This is a networking opportunity for those pursuing internships and entry-level positions with a focus on finance. Attendees will hear from industry professionals representing different career paths in the finance industry, then have opportunities to network with employers. Preview information for students and employers will be announced. To get assistance, visit the Zhang Career Center webpage.
  • Graduate and Professional School Virtual Fair—Monday, Oct. 19, from 3 to 6 p.m. Using the Easy Virtual Fair platform, the event provides opportunities to explore options for advanced studies with representatives from graduate and professional schools in Michigan and throughout the United States. This free event is open to those interested in pursuing graduate education. You can find more information about the virtual fair online.

Thinking Ahead

Job seekers attending any of the fall fairs should research employers in advance and have an updated resume available.

WMU students and alumni can learn about specific career and employment services available to them by visiting the websites for Career and Student Employment Services and the Zhang Career Center.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.