UMaine’s annual Career Fair was held this past Wednesday, Feb. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the New Balance Student Recreation Center. A total of 168 in-state and out-of-state organizations attended the fair, as well as hundreds of students.
This surpassed the number of organizations that attended last year’s fair, which was comprised of 146 organizations, making this year’s career fair the largest UMaine has ever had. “To have 168 different organizations meet our students is huge,” Crisanne Blackie, Director of the UMaine Career Center, said.
There were 41 organizations were from out-of-state and 127 were based in Maine. Some popular organizations included Camden National Bank, Tyler Technologies, Hannaford, Bangor Savings Bank, Key Bank, Walgreens and many more.
“The fair is a great place for students to find what is available. They can strike up a conversation that they never would have thought otherwise,” Blackie said.
The employees of the career center on campus do a lot in order to ensure that the fair is the best it can possibly be. “It takes us a full year to do this,” Blackie said.
They are always trying to improve ideas for the future. “This year, we have included a geofilter for snapchat. It is something new to make it more fun,” Blackie said.
According to Blackie, the past two fairs have included an app that students can download to their phone and receive a live update on all jobs, links to an organization’s website and an indicator of where a particular organization is sitting.
“It’s very consistent from year to year,” Chris Fournier, a former UMaine graduate and employer for HEB Engineers, said. “It helps students know what employers are looking for and it helps employers see what’s available to fill our needs.”
Another UMaine graduate, Josh Moody, who is now an employee for Walgreens, had similar comments. “Every year they take feedback well,” Moody said.
Moody was at the fair looking for potential summer interns and assistant store managers. This was the 5th consecutive UMaine career fair he had been to. “For employers, it opens up a much larger pool. It allows us to get on campus. It’s also good to know what other employers are looking for,” Moody said.
Students have also given positive feedback. “I see some familiar faces and some employers even recognize me from last year,” Fenton Cummings, a senior finance major, said.
“This event gives you a chance to network and expand who you know. It allows for opportunities to arise in your life,” Cummings said.
“It builds professional skills like being able to talk to people, because if you can’t communicate what you know, then what do you know?” Chris Byron, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, said. Byron heard about the fair through several of his classes and through a Facebook post.
Paige Wilcox, employer for Wilcox Wellness and Fitness, added, “It’s been a great day. We are excited to be growing our business in Maine. We’ve talked to a lot of students.”
Wilcox, who also attended UMaine 11 years ago, was looking to recruit personal trainers, possible interns and a client experience manager. “It’s a great opportunity for students to meet and talk with companies so they can get more of a sense of what that company is about,” Wilcox said.
The UMaine career fair will continue to attract a wide variety of organizations from across the nation who will gladly connect with students at the end of their academic careers and ensure them a smooth transition into the professional world.
“UMaine has great programs. A lot of great people come out of them. As an employer, I’d love to give a UMaine student a great career,” Wilcox said.