Over 30 area employers meet with job-seeking students
Bangor Daily News – Wednesday, March 20th saw the return of the Beal College Career Fair, an annual event that draws career representatives from the Bangor area and beyond.
The Fair is an opportunity for Beal students to learn about job opportunities and submit their resumes to employers. Above all, though, it offers a chance to develop networking skills, says Robin Tardiff, Beal’s Director of Career Services.
“The connections they make can really help them now and in the future,” said Tardiff. “It is a great opportunity to grow your network.”
Students were encouraged to participate in the fair by their instructors, many of whom allowed students to attend during class time or offered extra credit for attending. “The continued partnership [of Beal’s instructors] makes these fairs a success,” Tardiff said.
In order to prepare them for the Career Fair, Tardiff provided students with tips on everything from attire to communication style.
Dozens of employers participate in the Career Fair, representing many of the professions for which Beal College prepares its students. This year saw representatives from such organizations as Penquis, Wellspring, Seaport Village Healthcare, Maine Army National Guard, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Department of Corrections, among many others.
Kim Emery, a student in Beal’s Medical Assisting program, was impressed by the size of the fair and the number of participating organizations. “There was a lot of variety,” she said, noting that the employer representatives were “easy to talk to and ask questions of.”
Carol Starling was a 2010 graduate of Beal’s Law Enforcement program. She now works in corrections, and attended the fair as a representative, showing the current crop of Beal students what their education can do for their career.
Penquis representative Tracy Brawn said that the students who dropped by her booth “all come with great questions.” Penquis does “a little bit of everything,” she said, which is one reason students from many different programs seem interested in employment with the organization.
Lisa Williams, a representative for Wellspring, a mental health and addictions counseling provider in Bangor, noted that career fairs like this are a good source of potential employees. Wellspring currently employs two Beal students.
Kyle Sennett, HR/Business Office Manager at Seaport Village Healthcare in Ellsworth, observed “quite a bit of interest” among the students who attended. Nursing students in particular, he said, would benefit from working in the field and earning some money while taking courses toward their degree.
In addition to the obvious benefits of getting a job in a relevant field, attending a Career Fair is often about working toward long-term goals, said Tardiff. Visiting a recruiter’s booth is not guaranteed to result in employment, but it is a chance to practice the kinds of skills that are relevant during the interviewing process, and to establish a network of contacts – even though full-time employment may seem a long way off for students just starting their education.
“Even if you are not looking for a job, it is a great place to look for future opportunities,” Tardiff said.