This past Wednesday, Feb. 4., Career Services hosted the Career Fair allowing students to interact and talk with potential employers across a variety of fields. The event has been going on for eight years, and according to Twyla Hough, assistant director of career services, the event evolved from a graduate-based fair.
“Trinity University used to be more along the lines of graduate fairs, we’ve been doing those for decades,” Hough said. “We decided to do an employer symposium about eight years ago and now we do the fair because it garnered more interest from students.”
Hough noted that the Career Fair sees good turnout, but she is hopeful for more student involvement in the future.
“Last semester we were able to maintain 200 students which is pretty good compared to the past numbers, though still not ten percent of the student population,” Hough said. “Its frustrating because we have a large number of students that go into employment opportunity opposed to graduate or medical or law school programs. We would like to see a larger percentage of that come to the fair to see opportunities for internships and jobs.”Regarding the various businesses at the fair, many have hired Trinity students before, and according to Hough, are impressed with the quality of the hires.
“Most of these employers are employers who have hired Trinity students and like the caliber of students and want to be more visible on campus so students will be more familiar with their brand,” Hough said.
According to the Trinity website, around 40 percent of students (compared to national average of 24 percent) obtained a job at graduation with 40 percent going into graduate programs and another 65 percent after three to five years.
Most companies attracted by the fair are typically IT and business-oriented, something Hough hopes to change with the inclusion of other fields.
“We have intentionally tried to recruit beyond the areas of IT and business, and some years are more successful than others,” Hough said. “It’s very challenging””more so for nonprofits and for the arts, including film and music, because most of those organizations hire at a lower level and they do “˜just in time’ hiring.”
While the fair attracts many students, it also sees students and Trinity alumni working the fair as well. Sophomore Kylie Moden, computer science major, an intern for Google, noted the importance of attending the event, especially for first years and sophomores.
“Freshmen and sophomores should definitely come down. You never know when talking to a recruiter could turn into a potential internship, and it’s always great to start practicing recruiting and how to network,” Moden said. “By the time you’re a junior or senior, you’re calm about it and more experienced and know what to do.”
Hough echoed these sentiments, noting the ability to practice networking but also the immediate opportunity for jobs.
“I think it’s important for students regardless of what class level they are to get comfortable talking to people about their careers and interests even if its not exactly the profession they’re most interested in,” Hough said. “A lot of the students have a limited understanding of different positions that are available for different companies, that’s an IT company but they also share in marketing and in finance and so being able to see that all these HQs and corporations typically hire for multiple areas.”