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SMC to host virtual career fair, encourages students to reach out to employers remotely

| Thursday, September 17, 2020

Saint Mary’s Career Crossings Office is hosting its annual career fair Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Adapting to new COVID-19 regulations, this year’s fair has become a virtual event.

Stacie Jeffirs, director of the Career Crossings Office, said employers appreciate the background that Saint Mary’s students bring to their interviews.

“[Employers] love Saint Mary’s students,” she said. “They are looking for more diversity and women in the workplace and being an all women’s college fits really well into that.”

Jeffirs is hopeful the virtual fair will impact students in a positive way. She believes being online eliminates the pressure of interviewing in person.

“Usually you show up for the fair and walk up to the employer and pitch yourself, but with virtual, there is no “pitch” per say,” she said. “You submit your resume and they will make their selections.”

Being online removes barriers that may have made students hesitant in the past, but students still need to prepare themselves for the fair, Jeffirs said.

“I recommend and encourage students to treat that Zoom as a pitch, why you submitted, interests, strengths, how this is an opportunity,” she said.

Jeffirs said being virtual does comes with some new obstacles for her office.

“[The] biggest challenges are the systems, how to get them up and running,” Jeffirs said. “[The administration] mostly just have to take it step by step and day by day to adjust to tweaks troubleshoot, and a lot of things we’ve experienced [in the past]. Being patient with both the school and the employers is important in order for the program to be successful.”

Sophomore education major Emily Stross said the career fair can be a beneficial tool for planning for her future career.

“I know it’s early to start looking for jobs, but being ahead of the curve is just something that will help me stand out,” Stross said.

Stross is hopeful the connections she made previously during her fieldwork experience will help her land a job early outside school. However, she wants to keep herself open to all future options.

“It also is helping me explore my options. I hope to work for a school in Ohio when I graduate, but options change and having these options open to me just make me feel more comfortable for the future.”

Jeffirs emphasized students can still make connections to employers after the fair is over.

“Some of [the employers] might be scheduling outside hours,” she said. “Submit resumes to the positions they have posted and the employers can link with you after the fair.”

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