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Vols Utilize UT’s Job Fair Season to Make Connections

Fall on Rocky Top is a vibrant season. Campus comes alive as new Vols transition to college, and returning students rejoin the community to continue their journey towards graduation. While football season is in high gear and students seek out opportunities with student organizations and the like, there is another season at play starting in late August. That is career and internship fair season.

Many new Vols cannot imagine looking toward and deciding their future while adjusting to a new academic schedule, learning study and time management skills, and maintaining a sense of well-being. It is during these times of navigation and introspection that their Volunteer community steps up to provide the support and resources they will need to develop their strengths and participate in dynamic opportunities to expand their knowledge and experience.

Opportunities for experiential learning help students learn more about their career goals, develop their experience and skills, and start to create a network of peers and professionals who can support them in finding their long-term career outcomes. Students connect with potential organizations for part-time jobs, internships, and full-time jobs. Because some employers attend these fairs in the fall to hire May grads and summer interns for the following year, students should participate and prepare early.

Natalie Feller, a recruiter from Oracle and alumna of UT, said the career fairs are a great way to connect with students. “The university has done such a great job in preparing students for these events,” she said. “The students that we have hired from UTK have built an incredible track record of success at Oracle and we will continue to build upon this relationship for years to come.”

The Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration hosts and supports numerous general and major-specific career fairs throughout the academic year, and the fall season for 2023 is ending. In addition, the center hosts events and drop-in hours throughout the year to help Vols build their resumes, practice their interview pitch and skills, create their LinkedIn profiles, and more.

This semester, the CCDAE hosted the Part-Time Job Fair August 29; Engineering & STEM Job & Internship Fair September 18; Supply Chain Management Job & Internship Fair September 26; and Business, Retail, & Government Job & Internship Fair September 27. These fairs welcomed 4,013 students and 411 employers. During this fall’s job fair series, the CCDAE also offered career fair tours every hour with a staff member to help students build confidence and learn how to approach a fair and connected first-year students with employers who were first-year friendly.

In addition, the CCDAE supported job fairs hosted by Accounting September 12, Herbert College of Agriculture October 3, Communication & Information October 4, Construction Science October 19, Nursing October 25, and Veterinary Medicine November 2. Looking toward spring 2024, they will host or support the Spring Job & Internship Fair, Education Fair, Summer Experiences Fair, and Architecture & Design Fair.

Lauren Allen, a senior majoring in construction science, attended the program-specific fair on the 19th. “One of the biggest ways I have found internships is coming to the career fairs,” Lauren said. “I would definitely recommend students attend!” Lauren has secured two internships from the fairs and attended the most recent to find a full-time job.

While job and internship fairs are an excellent opportunity for undergraduate Vols to learn more about available opportunities and different industries, students should also utilize the coaches and resources at the center to learn effective job search and career-related strategies.