The New Balance Recreational Center was bustling with well-dressed people on Wednesday. In total, 146 employers set up booths to meet and network with University of Maine students, making it the largest Career Fair since 2008. Career Center faculty expected to see anywhere from 850 to 900 students exploring what the fair had to offer between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The Career Fair has been held by the Career Center for many years and was moved to the New Balance Rec. Center 12 years ago. Since its beginnings, the Career Fair has grown and evolved to better suit the needs of UMaine’s students.
This year, the Career Center launched the “Careers by Symplicity” app, which helps students filter companies according to the positions they’re recruiting for and the majors they’re searching for. For the Career Fair, students were also able to get a list of participants for the fair and find which number of table they were at. The new app is a part of CareerLink, the Career Center’s job searching site.
Employers present were looking for interns, part-time employees and full time employees. A number of camp recruiters were also present.
According to Crisanne Blackie, the director of the Career Center, anyone can benefit from attending the Career Fair.
Underclassmen often look for summer jobs or internships, while those getting ready to graduate start looking for prospective employers.
For those who are unsure of what they want to pursue for a career, the Career Center has plenty of resources. Anyone who is unsure of what kind of career they want, or knows exactly what they want can visit the Career Center to seek resources and help with developing professional skills.
“We’ll even help you pick out your tie if you want,” Blackie said.
This year’s Career Fair included a Career Fair Checkpoint for anyone who wanted help practicing their elevator pitches, checking their resumes or adjusting their wardrobes.
While many students assume that employers are looking specifically for people who will be graduating with specific degrees and skill sets, Blackie explained that that’s not exactly the case.
“Many employers here are saying that they’re interested in soft skills as well,” Blackie said. “Can the person present themselves well? Are they professional? Do they have that glimmer in their eye?” Blackie continued.
Many of the employers present were impressed with what they saw at this year’s Career Fair, including Lynn Bombard, a representative of MMG Insurance.
“I feel like the students who come through here are focused and have a sense of what they want to do. It’s very worthwhile for us to be here,” Bombard said. “We are also getting a sense of the talent that is coming out of the University of Maine in Orono.”