Florida A&M University students, faculty members and representatives of local and international businesses congregated Wednesday at the Tallahassee Civic Center.
They participated in FAMU’s Career Expo, an event that started in 1989 and became so successful that it is now held twice a year: in the fall and spring semesters.
The Career Expo was designed for students to have one-on-one contact with companies and discover opportunities available to them in the job market.
Down in the lower levels of the Civic Center, FAMU students and business recruiters were “dressed to impress” to network and create a growing relationship with one another. For many students, this was not their first time participating in the Career Expo.
“It’s a good opportunity,” said Isabelle Elie, 20, a junior graphic design student from Port-au-Price. Elie attended the expo in the fall, but said she felt more comfortable this time. Asked if the event has benefited her at all she said, “Yes, because it opens doors for you.” Elie also said that the expo reduces the struggle of job searching because the businesses come to you.
Another student also had a positive opinion on the event.
The Career Expo is a “must do,” said Cameron Allen, 26, a recent Florida A&M University graduate in chemical engineering from Paducah, Kentucky. “It gives you job opportunities.”
Along with those opportunities, the expo can help students see the culture of the company and if they are interested in that type of work.
Allen said he recommended the Career Expo to other students because it’s always good to practice networking. He says the key is to be “comfortable and confident.”
The Career Expo is designed to make students aware of job openings, requirements, benefits, and interview procedures.
Stephanie Holmes and Selena Murphree, recruiters for EverBank, wanted to inform FAMU students on the application process and how to coordinate an interview.
They were also letting prospective graduates know how to score a position in their expanding business.
EverBank is looking for “people with degrees for entry-level positions,” Murphree said.
They are using the expo to network to students who will be looking for a job soon but don’t have much experience.
EverBank participates in four college Career Expos and takes four students per semester as interns.
Campus Recruiter Larin Limones, representing Target, was very enthusiastic to meet students face-to-face and answer any questions they may have.
She was also there to give out information on how to apply for an internship and she helped students figure out what field they were interested in.
Limones said that Target is currently working with two FAMU students for an internship, and that Target offers 200 internships every summer at corporate level and 1,400 in stores.
Delores Dean, director of the Career Center at FAMU, said she was happy with the turnout of the Career Expo.
Dean said, “It was very well attended by students and corporations.”
A variety of students with different classifications and majors were present and the faculty and staff at FAMU was supportive of the event. Dean was also pleased with the diversity of the businesses that participated.
But others weren’t as pleased.
“I’m disappointed,” said Johnathan Johnson, 24, a senior business administration student from Jacksonville, who disliked the approach of some recruiters. “Most businesses just refer you online.” He added that the fall expo was better, but still appreciated the “personal contact” he had with the businesses.
With 120 companies participating in the spring and 150-200 in the fall, FAMU’s Career Expo is a great opportunity for college students to network with a variety of companies.
“It’s the corporation’s informal view of the students,” Dean said, adding that it allows students to gain general information about the businesses they are interested in.
“The Career Expo is the one event students can see 120 companies at one time.”
Contact Holly McCabe at Holly1.McCabe@famu.edu