Career fair held virtually this year

Gabriel Lizama, Staff Reporter

Kristen Paton, the Career Services event coordinator, is the driving force behind the spring virtual career fair. Paton has experienced running the career fair for two years.

However, this year took an unexpected twist, but it didn’t stop Paton from connecting students to employers.

According to Paton, over the course of a week, students were given the opportunity to interview with 63 different companies and representatives that included graduate programs.

Paton said students would attend scheduled hours with a company and get to chat via live-text with different representatives.

“It was great to see that we were able to connect students with employers even though it is not the same as an in-person career fair,” Paton said.

Paton said the attendance this year was lower than the ones held previously.

Paton said during these times students have a lot to think about and she is looking for new ways to help benefit students.

Paton is taking this year’s career fair as a learning lesson to build a different platform that is better for students to interact with.

Paton said based on the feedback received from students the career fair team is looking to provide virtual tours of companies and possible Zoom meetings.

Paton said employers enjoy the opportunities given to talk to students and want to keep their connections strong.

“We genuinely want to know what type of opportunities that students want to see,” Paton said.

Shawn Murphy, a senior recreation and tourism management major, tries to build as many connections as possible through attending different events.

Murphy attended his first career fair in person.

“I was looking for a new way to connect with different employers and get exposure to new job opportunities,” Murphy said.

Murphy believes it’s important to network because it provides helpful insight on what employers are looking for in particular career fields.

 Murphy’s favorite part about networking is connecting friends with potential employers and at the same time building stronger relationships.

Connor Wonderly, a master’s student majoring in law and justice, believes if CWU offered an interactive learning experience with professionals, the career fair would be more attractive.

Wonderly said being able to gain a perspective from someone who has been in a particular field allows students to build a better picture of the field and ask clarifying questions.

Wonderly said a Zoom call or platform that allows people to connect with employers and presenters is more beneficial than having a text-only chat.

Wonderly said he would prefer to learn from professionals’ experiences that have been successful in their field.