Recruiters from 100-plus companies connected with more than 825 students seeking career and internship positions at the NC State Poole College of Management February 15 Spring Career and Internship Fair, held at The McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education at NC State.
The companies – large and small, in a variety of industries – reported that the event provided access to a wide range of high quality candidates, and that the students were informed and well prepared, said Brian Newton, director of undergraduate career and internship development in the Poole College Career Center and coordinator of the college’s career fair.
That positive feedback, he said, is “a testament to all the hard work of the college’s faculty and staff in preparing students for their careers.”
Preparation includes a steady flow of information to students, including a checklist of things to do, such as downloading the Career Fair Plus app and using it to determine their top 15 companies to connect with at the career fair, and individual sessions with the college’s Poole Peer Coaches and professional career development staff, Newton said. The college’s Career Resources Guide provides additional tips on everything from a power greeting to resumes.
Last fall, the college’s career center team also began holding meet-ups as the career fair date was approaching – small roundtable discussions on a range of topics related to getting ready for the career fair
“We also have great support from our faculty for these important career events and I appreciate that immensely,” Newton said.
Recruiters commended the event itself, saying it was well organized, with friendly staff and volunteers, a good layout of recruiter booths and, generally, “a great atmosphere,” reports Whitney McLauchlin, who summarized feedback from the recruiters. She is a doctoral candidate in counselor education in NC State’s College of Education and a graduate assistant in Poole College’s student career services office.
Pre-Career Fair Events a Plus
In addition to the career fair, which is open to all students at Poole and other NC State colleges, recruiters had several pre-career fair opportunities to meet with Poole students.
Nearly 140 undergraduate and MBA students seeking supply chain positions met with representatives from 28 companies at the college’s supply chain internship and career recruiter event held at the McKimmon Center on Thursday evening, February 14.
The inaugural Inclusive Recruiter Reception – held that same evening at the State View Hotel on NC State’s Centennial Campus – brought students together with recruiters who are actively seeking to diversify talent pools and to hear from student organization leaders about how to engage with their affinity groups.
Tayah Butler, director of diversity and inclusion at Poole College, said recruiter feedback has been strong for these events. “Diversity recruiting initiatives are important for corporations, so they find our events are what they’re looking for: opportunities to meet our students, to have conversations with them.”
The college also held its Inclusive Leaders Breakfast on the morning of the career fair. This event provides students and recruiters an opportunity to discuss strategies corporations use in diversity and inclusion to create environments where diversity can thrive.
The two events are among opportunities provided by the Poole College of Management’s Office of Undergraduate Programs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
It is important to not only represent but have an understanding of the community that we serve. – Megan Mansfield, Northwestern Mutual
Recruiters attending the Inclusive Recruiter Reception also provided positive feedback about the inaugural event.
“Northwestern Mutual participated because we think it is important to not only represent but have an understanding of the community that we serve,” said Megan Mansfield, a campus recruiter with the company and among the attendees. Through that event, she said, “Northwestern Mutual was able to gain a better understanding of what NC State is teaching students and what makes students entering the workforce feel accepted and set up for best success.
“I hope the students gained confidence in speaking with employers and being open and honest with what they are looking for and the best environment for them in the work place. Also, I hope they gained a better understanding of Northwestern Mutual and what we look for in our financial advisors and leaders in our office,” she said, adding: “Northwestern Mutual always loves being involved with making positive changes and we look forward to continuing our relationship with our NC State students.”
Justin Henderson, talent acquisition manager with Enterprise Holdings and a member of the company’s diversity and inclusion regional team, said he is “always looking for ways to partner with universities to help elevate diverse talent.”
Speaking of the Poole event he attended, he said, “we gained knowledge about gender identity and how to use correct pronouns based on that identity.” He also met a few students that may be interested in Enterprise’s management trainee program.
Danya Perry, equitable economic development manager at the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, also attended the recruiting reception and provided the opening welcome for guests.
“As the voice of the regional business community, the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce recognizes that addressing the evolving demographic changes in our region is fundamental to growth and sustainability,” she said.
“We recognize that creating a diverse and inclusive talent pipeline is critical to our long-term success. In addition, we must understand what our future talent value in a workplace culture,” Perry said. “Our business community is ultimately evolving to ensure that the workplace, workforce, and marketplace all are grounded on our diverse and inclusive foundation. It is our hope that student participants gained insight into the value proposition of diversity and inclusion.”