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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Activities & Organizations

Valenti School, Career Services job fair goes virtual


Career fair and graduate school fair was held virtually this year as opposed to years past. | File Photo

Career and graduate school fair was held virtually this year as opposed to years past. | File Photo

The career and graduate school fair from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the Valenti School of Communication happened virtually this week through Cougar Pathway.

University Career Services with the Valenti school had employers from companies such as NASA, Yes Prep and State Farm attend the fair.

“Up to date, we had more than 200 students registered to attend the fair to virtually connect with the 53 registered employers and graduate programs,” said career counselor Adalia Espinosa. 

Communication students got the opportunity to speak to and interview with various companies across the career fair.

Employers were able to publicly view a student’s name, major, classification and resume on Cougar Pathway. There were one to three representatives online per company and students could queue up to chat with employers through Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

“The main difference is this career and graduate school fair will be virtual to keep everyone safe during the pandemic,” said career counselor Jamie Gonzales. “There are also great features for you to see wait times for certain companies, take notes for yourself after each conversation and easily write thank you emails afterwards.”

Preparations for the career fairs are made at the beginning of the semester by the staff of Employer Development Relations, who target employers across the Great Houston Area and Texas that best fit students’ interests, majors and experiences.

“At the start of a new semester, we examine student survey responses and ask our students to share which companies they most want to take their talents to and from there on employers are chosen that would attract most Coogs,” Espinosa said.

University Career Services offered workshops, resume reviews and a pre-event tutorial before the event. 

“The best way to find out which skills you should be highlighting is to look at each job or internship description, especially if there is a required or preferred skills section,” Gonzales said. “Job searching can be hard and requires a lot of time, energy and effort. Career counselors are here to support you in the process from resume review to salary negotiation. In addition, I would also advise you to connect to professionals in your industry through informational interviews.”

Sarah Essama, director for Teach for America and Scott Fitzgerald, news manager at Nexstar Media Group shared their thoughts about the career fair. 

“I want to recruit juniors, freshmen and sophomores, who don’t get as much attention during the recruitment season,” Essama said. “I want to hire students who can show professionalism, dress appropriately to set a first impression, leadership and students who are involved in service.”

Some first-time companies were in attendance at the fair that students attending could speak with.

“This is the first time our company is working with UH and I am really excited for this fair. I would advise students to polish their elevator speech and be flexible in skills,” said Fitzgerald. “Employers are trying to hire people in a different way so have your expectations open and show you can write, organize time and have dependability.”

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