On September 30, IU hosted its virtual Fall 2021 Diversity Career and Internship Fair. This event provided an excellent opportunity for students from all IU campuses to network with potential employers and to explore internships and full-time employment opportunities with local, state, and national employers in public, private, and non-profit sectors such as Eli Lily, Camp Tecumseh YMCA, Indiana Public Health Association, and Tiffany & Co. Over 1400 students registered for the event, and 800 plus students scheduled one-on-one sessions with employers.
"The Diversity Career and Internship Fair provided OVPDEMA students an opportunity to secure an employment or internship to take the necessary professional next steps as part of their college education," Vincent Isom, director of the 21st Century Scholars, said. "It also provided important exposure to those students that see such opportunities on the horizon.'
Isom goes on to say that the fair is an environment to gain information directly from employers and where students can learn how to navigate a virtual career fair successfully. "These two points get at the 'why' the Diversity Career and Internship Fair was created and the 21st Century Scholars continue to attend in good numbers, which places them firmly on the road map to success."
"We are incredibly proud of this year's fair," said Yolanda Treviño, assistant vice president for strategy, planning, and assessment. "I am proud of the collaboration between the Career Development Center and our academic support programs, particularly the 21st Century Scholars Program. The work they put into the event ensures our students are exposed to more networking opportunities and provides a greater number of informational interviews and insight into environmental fit through an internship, co-op, or experiential learning opportunities. Equally important in student career development are the boot camps held to enhance student career learning prior to the Diversity Career and Internship Fair. By participating, students learn to clarify and articulate their interests, skills, and strengths and identify a wide variety of career opportunities."
Christin Correll, an academic advisor and career coordinator for the IU 21st Century Scholars Program at Indiana University Bloomington who assisted with the fair, states that the career fair was "an outstanding experience for OVPDEMA students as they navigate career exploration preparing for the event."
The career and internship fair consisted of 30-minute group sessions with multiple students in attendance and 10-minute one-on-one sessions with a single student and employer representative.
"The most challenging part was the students' registration process of not only signing up for the career fair but also sessions with employers," Correll said. "It is critical for students to sign up for both, as this will guarantee individual interaction with an employer."
Bryanna Gibson, a sophomore and pre-med biology major who attended the fair, stated that she found the user interface easy to use and very effective. "I felt great about the career fair!" Gibson said. "The only company I spoke with was Eli Lilly. I really enjoyed learning more about how their company functions and the many ways that they have helped develop medicine as a pharmaceutical company. One of the women I interviewed with actually encouraged me to apply for an internship with her."
"It was a success for students to engage with employers, and a collaborative effort between my colleagues and me to make sure helping students navigate a virtual career fair was a priority," Correll said. "In the future, we are hopeful that offering a career fair early in the semester will allow for students to gain experience and increase diversity numbers at different schools' career fairs throughout the semester."