UNI moves annual career fair online

UNI Career Services didn’t let a global pandemic stop them from giving students an opportunity to safely find their future career.

With restrictions on face-to-face interaction due to COVID-19, UNI will hold its Career Fair virtually from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 21. Attendees will be able to interact and network with representatives from more than 120 different companies via video chat through the Handshake app. 

Students can access Handshake on the job board through careerservices.uni.edu or MyUniverse and register online for 10 minute one-on-one sessions with recruiters or a 30-minute group session. 

The virtual fair will give students the opportunity to network with companies, share  resumes, identify possible career paths and ask personalized questions of representatives from some of the state’s largest companies..

“The recruiter can really talk to you honestly about what it’s like to work at their company, and you can talk about what you’re looking for in a career and what’s going to be important to you at your job,” said Joann Mulholland, career services coordinator. “It’s important that our students are able to find a good fit - not just a place to work, but a place they’ll really be able to thrive.”

UNI accounting alumnus Johnathan Langenberg said he is looking forward to connecting with students at the fair as a representative of Collins Aerospace, one of the world's largest suppliers of aerospace and defense products with a headquarters in Cedar Rapids. He works in the finance department after graduating in 2015.

“UNI’s business school does a great job with teaching general knowledge like finance or accounting, but what really makes students stand out is their ability to think critically and solve problems in unique situations.” Langenberg said. “UNI is actually the highest-represented school at Collins within the finance department. We really have a wonderful history and heritage of Panthers coming down to work in Cedar Rapids.” 

He remembers his days of attending the career fair, where he initially connected with Collins Aerospace as a sophomore. After completing two internships with them, he was offered a position when he graduated. The chance to network at the career fair played a large part in helping him decide to accept the position. 

“I really encourage people to get out to the career fair to network and build relationships with recruiters.” Langenberg said. “As you build relationships with different companies and recruiters, it’s going to pay dividends moving forward.”

The fair is open to all students, even if they don’t have defined career goals.

“I think it can be really beneficial for students who are not entirely set on a career path yet,” Mulholland said. “Because this is an opportunity to talk to recruiters and get in-depth knowledge and insight into different careers.”

Students with questions about how to use Handshake to access the career fair can view an online tutorial. Career Services also offers a FAQ to help students understand how to navigate and prepare for the virtual fair.