By Kamryn Marshall
The Florida A&M University (FAMU) spring All Majors Career and Internship Expo attracted 1,000 students seeking jobs and internships with 127 organizations on Wednesday.
On Thursday, 13 companies hosted interviews with 50 students in Gaither gymnasium, according to Shereada Harrell, director of the C.C. Cunningham Career and Professional Development Center. Some companies offered students jobs on the spot, Harrell said.
“The career and internship expo was a success,” said Harrell. “All colleges and schools were represented. This expo was a great opportunity for all of our students.”
Companies included Amazon, Geico, Dow and Land O’Lakes, financial institutions, law enforcement and federal agencies, school districts, and city and county governments.This spring’s attendance was an increase over a year ago when 828 students and 105 employers participated.
This was the first time the University of South Carolina (USC) partnered with FAMU to recruit students for their Master of Human Resources Program. Their hope is to bring in students from any qualified major who have the skills to contribute to their program.
“One of our goals is to see more diversity in our program, so naturally we wanted to choose some of the best HBCU’s to do that,” said Dahlia McFarland, a recruiter from the USC Master of Human Resources Program. “We wanted to come here and talk with a lot of the talented students to get them to be part of our program.”
Maurice Pickett II, a junior in the School of Business and Industry (SBI), came prepared for the expo.
“I made sure I had my speech prepared and perfected. I did a little bit of research on most of the companies that came,” said Pickett. “I knew if I came in here nervous and trying to talk to everybody at one time, it would have been bad. I would have been too overwhelmed and nervous.”
For Leronda Pinder, a FAMU alumna and recruiter with Apex Systems, this is the first time she has been on campus to recruit other students. When she was a student, Pinder attended the Career Expo where she was offered jobs in her field.
“It’s a lot of good talent here. I’m really excited to see the hunger that they have,” said Pinder. “They’re out here, they’re asking questions, they want to know, they want to land a job after graduation, and they want the internships…I brought this company here and it was worth it.”
Harrell said 52 percent of the students who participated stated that attending the expo exposed them to opportunities they did not know existed.
“Attending career expos in your early years can increase students’ chances to securing employment and internships,” Harrell said. “I spoke with a few employers and they stated that the students they plan to offer internships to are those who they met when the students were freshmen and sophomores.”