An af-FAIR for the future

Students and employers all have high hopes for the Career and Internship Fair

The Spring 2020 Career and Internship Fair was full of employers and students — nearly everyone dressed to impress and carrying folders of resumes.

The College of Engineering Technology had the most prospective employers, but there were also options for the other colleges. Some of these were job offers and internships, as well as cooperative education and learning opportunities. There were also several volunteer opportunities.

CLACS assistant Kathryn Thomas said how she would “like to provide students the opportunity to start meeting with employers while they are still in college in hopes that it will set them up for a more successful future.”

Thomas used a variety of tactics to attract employers to this fair. She sent an email blast and made some targeted phone calls and emails. She believes her tactics were successful.

Of the employers that were able to attend the fair, many have partnered with Ferris for years, and plan to continue attending because of the quality of students Ferris produces.

Some students arrived with a plan, such as hospitality management senior Emily Modjeski, who came specifically to meet the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa and was able to get an interview with them that same day.

Another student with a plan was digital marketing senior Hailey Davison.

“I was applying online and I really wanted to meet face-to-face and connect with people that way instead of just applying online, because I believe networking is really important,” Davison said.

Some students were just there to see what was available and get experience in networking and communication.

Ferris mechanical engineering senior Jared Brzezniak has come to many of the past fairs just for the connections. He recalled a time that he gave out his resume and was called when a new job opened several years later. This is one of the goals of the fair.

Auto-Owners Insurance cooperate recruiter Kristina Smith said they were looking for a motivated individual “who has had past internship experience or even just been involved on campus in clubs or student boards.”

Despite the handout saying they were looking for students specifically from the College of Business, Auto-Owners Insurance is one of the employers open to hiring all majors. This made it worthwhile to stop and chat with every table. Auto-Owners Insurance’s wide range of job options has worked in their favor, seeing as they currently have several Ferris graduates working for them, including one of the workers at their table for the fair.

Many of these companies are looking for students not only with the current proper qualifications now, but who would be willing to learn more in the future.

“We’re looking for someone who wants to learn the trade and develop themselves to potentially go further in their career in the company,” said Walbec Group estimator and project manager Brad Burnham. Some representatives were happy to say what they look for in an employee, providing a wide array of goals Ferris students can work toward.

“We look for someone with experience in our field but a thirst for knowledge and a willingness to learn,” said Eastbrook Homes senior vice president of operations Brad Mooney.

Eastbrook Homes was another group looking to hire all majors, but some students still felt that the fair was still too heavy on the construction and engineer majors without giving room for other majors.

“There’s nothing that seems to be in my area, but I’d probably come again in the future if they expand some more in the STEM field,” Bio-technology sophomore Rebecca White said.

Students like White were still able to make connections and gain networking experience, making the trip to the Career and Internship Fair — to them — worthwhile.