By Thaddaeus Watkins (The FAMUan)
Professional dress intact and resumes secured, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) students happily interacted with top-industry professionals as they provided opportunities for potential employment and internships during Wednesday’s Career Expo in the Lawson Center.
While the main floor grew congested, time eagerly passed as students from different FAMU colleges and schools exercised their professionalism and scholastic talents.
Students, preceding their arrival, had spent countless hours preparing a script and persona to captivate prospective employers. This was the moment they have anticipated all semester.
Third-year accounting student Shayla Lagree conducted mock interviews to practice her public speaking and interview skills.
“You want to practice speaking publically as much as possible,” Lagree said. “The more you practice, the more permanent your practices become.”
Although Lagree is more fascinated by the Fall Semester Career Expo, she never lets any opportunity pass. “Career fairs provide opportunities of growth,” said Lagree. “Not only do you build connections with industry professionals, but you’re given a chance to partake in a great experience.”
Lagree is currently undecided on a career path but wants to work in either Georgia or North Carolina.
Biannually, the Career Expo is presented to students as an opportunity to rehearse their professional skills. The preparation of public speaking, interviewing, networking and building relationships are considered most essential. The significance of these practices is in direct correlation to the regularity of usage in a career or professional setting.
A mass collection of Fortune 500 companies known across the globe, represented by their spokespersons, stood before their sectioned booth as students waited in line to make their pitch.
Recognized companies, including Apple, Geico, Intel Corporation, PepsiCo, PNC Financial Services, Teach for America, TEKsystems, Walgreens and Waffle House, Inc., to name a few, were all present. The variety of businesses included companies in a range of industries from K-12 education and legal and law enforcement to wholesale trade. More than 75 companies participated in the Career Expo as it continues to be one of the largest recruitment fairs at FAMU.
The employment job types available comprised of full-time, part-time and internship positions contingent on the services needed. Fellowships, assistantships, graduate school research and volunteer opportunities were also up for grabs.
As each company offered specific requirements to be qualified, the Career Expo is open to all majors. All students have been encouraged to attend. In addition, most professors require attendance, provide extra credit for attending and assign homework for students to complete preliminary research on the visiting companies.
Third-year accounting student Jamiel Shillingford researched many companies before attending.
“I conducted research specifically to see which companies were offering positions and opportunities tailored to my interests,” Shillingford said. Shillingford was most fascinated exploring company information and speaking to recruiters from Geico.
The goal of the Career Expo has always been for students to arrive prepared, on time, and leave satisfied with connections. A combination of recruiters, faculty and students look forward to meeting others. When asked what the favorite portion is, the responses included, the opportunity of networking, putting professional practices in action and the increased likelihoods of solidifying career paths.
Fourth-year computer science student Joseph Jones is scheduled to graduate in Spring 2019. Jones has completed four internships from leading companies known worldwide, such as Johnson & Johnson and NextEra Energy. Jones is striving for his fifth internship.
“I participate biannually and converse with as many recruiters as possible,” Jones said. “FAMU provides the resources, however, it is the student body’s duty to maximize their efforts and secure opportunities for advancement.”
The FAMU Career and Professional Development Center have provided a semester full of networking opportunities through professional fairs all semester long. The career fairs to come include:
Allied Health Professions Fair | Wednesday, Feb. 21
Rattlers’ Last Strike Career Fair | Thursday, April 26
Florida Career Centers Career Fair | TBA
For additional information and updates, visit www.careercenter.famu.edu.
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