Few things are as valuable to a college student as an internship that helps them grow professionally and lead to a future job, but how does a student who’s looking for their first internship stand out to an employer?
The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s college of business hosts the annual CBA Career & Internship Fair where businesses set up booths and interact with students about career opportunities.
Students registered in advance, dressed professionally and extended a firm handshake to potential future employers. As they made eye contact and extended their hand, they had a resume in one hand and a notepad in the other.
The fair took place on Sept. 24 at UNO’s Mammel Hall and businesses had booths lined across the atrium and down the hallways where students could stop by, interact and pick up free merchandise from the companies.
This year’s fair boasted 49 businesses that represented multiple job markets including banking, retail and insurance. For students, this event is an excellent opportunity to learn more about companies they are interested in. Parnell Matthews, a junior studying business administration, came to the fair to look for potential companies he might want to apply to in the future.
“I’m looking to see what companies I might enjoy working for and hopefully get my foot in the door,” Matthews said. “It’s an awesome opportunity to be able to ask questions about positions and the company itself.”
Students asked meaningful questions that helped give them insight to what the companies’ values are and what work looks like day to day. While the fair is beneficial to students, it is equally beneficial for the employers who attend.
Mark Niedzwiecki, a business manager of Walgreens, explained how interacting with students at fairs helps him choose potential candidates.
“In the spring and summer we hire interns and host a 10- week course that helps develop management skills,” Niedzwiecki said. “Meeting students in person, and getting a gauge of what their interests are helps me see where we could help them develop. It also helps us explain potential career opportunities through Walgreens.”
An added benefit of the fair was many professors offered students extra credit for registering and attending the fair. Though this may have been motivation for some, many came simply for professional development and getting face time with professionals.
“It’s nice to have a break from looking online for job postings and to actually be able to interact with the company about what is available and what they’re looking for,” Matthews said.