Showcase to Connect UK Students With 120+ Employers
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2013) — University of Kentucky students will have the opportunity to meet with more than 120 employers at the Spring 2013 Employer Showcase sponsored by the UK James W. Stuckert Career Center. The showcase will bring employers in both technical and non-technical professions to campus from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 12 and 13, to the UK Student Center Ballrooms.
Frank Patton, division manager at First Investors Corporation and long-time participant in the UK Employer Showcase, says that his company comes to UK to look for talented individuals who have a quality education from an excellent institution.
Last semester the Stuckert Career Center introduced the Employer Showcase VIP Program, an interactive program designed to develop career-ready students at UK and offer exclusive exposure to employers.
VIP Program participants will have the opportunity to enter the Employer Showcase 30 minutes early and to have contact information shared with employers prior to the Employer Showcase. Fall VIPs will have the same privileges for the Spring 2013 Employer Showcase. The process begins with attending a preparation workshop that will help students get the most out of the Employer Showcase. More information is available online at www.uky.edu/careercenter.
The first day of the event will showcase employers in technical career fields like engineering, computer science, construction, information systems/technology and scientific research.
The second day will host employers in non-technical fields like communications, accounting, banking, consulting, health care, government, management, human services, nonprofit, retail and sales, and other fields without a scientific or technical focus.
Reba Carroll, senior assistant director at the Stuckert Career Center, suggests students prepare by researching companies that will be attending the showcase ahead of time.
"Students need to research companies to appear knowledgeable to the employer and serious about working for that company," Carroll said.
More than 120 employers will participate in the showcase, including private companies of all sizes, government agencies, nonprofit groups and a number of Fortune 500 companies. Among the registered employers are Aldi, Apple Inc., BMW Manufacturing, Bed Bath & Beyond, Deloitte, Enterprise, Ernst & Young, First Investors, Kroger, General Electric, JCPenney, Target, Toyota and Wal-Mart.
Carroll suggests that students should also prepare some questions to ask employers during the showcase. Some questions students may ask would be "What is your latest project?" or "Do you plan to return for on-campus interviews?" They may also want to ask about the work environment of the company and the training programs for new hires. Asking intelligent questions such as these will demonstrate the applicant's interest, as well as an understanding of his or her needs in a career opportunity.
"First impressions really do matter," says Stuckert Career Center Senior Assistant Director Theresa Mickelwait. "Students should dress professionally in dark colors such as black, charcoal and grays. Women can wear either a skirt or pant suit with a solid color conservative shirt, closed toe shoes and minimal jewelry. No extreme heels, short skirts or low necklines. For men, a suit, a button-down white shirt, tie, sports jacket, slacks, and shined shoes will make the best impression."
Mickelwait suggests students prepare a 30-60 second introduction, use a firm handshake, smile and make good eye contact when meeting employers. Their introduction should include their name, graduation date, major and career goals. Students should be prepared to highlight their accomplishments and any honors or awards, such as a high GPA or the Dean’s List.
Patton also suggests that "students really need to make an impression and think about what will make them stand out from the person standing in line behind them."
Students should carry about 30 résumés in a professional portfolio with a nice pen and a pad of paper to take notes. Students should print résumés on high-quality white or ivory paper. On their résumés, students should include any work or volunteer experience, internships, and any special honors they have received.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of other services at the career center any time before or after the showcase. Wildcat CareerLink, for example, is the Stuckert Career Center's online registration process that students can access to upload their résumés and browse employers' job listings.
To prepare for the showcase, the Stuckert Career Center has videos available on the UK YouTube Channel that offer helpful tips on creating a résumé, writing a cover letter and making the best impression in an interview. Participants can also download the "10 Steps to Prepare for a Career Fair" guide online at www.uky.edu/careecenter.
For more information on the Spring 2013 Employer Showcase and the other career-building services offered by the Stuckert Career Center, students can stop by or visit the center's website at www.uky.edu/careercenter.
The Stuckert Career Center, part of the UK Division of Undergraduate Education, strives to provide students with enriching and educational programs to enhance their working experience and employment opportunities. The center helps students explore their career options, engage in experiential learning and connect with employers.
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