Walking through the front doors of the New Balance Recreation Center, hundreds of University of Maine students put on their name tags and got ready for the annual Career Fair.
The event was held on Feb. 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., ending earlier than anticipated due to weather conditions. Participating employers and companies filled the gym in 19 rows of tables and chairs. Numbered signs and arrows directed students where to go and helped them navigate their way around each station.
“I really like how our school brings this formal and structured style of a job fair right to our campus,” second-year student Ally Cyr said. “We have a really great resource right at our fingertips, and it is a great way to get internships, as well as part-time and full-time jobs.”
One-hundred seventy-one different organizations participated in the event and traveled from all across Maine to set up tables and information booths in the gym. Employers were stationed around their tables to hand out flyers, answer questions, get to know the students and even look over resumes and collect contact information.
“I really enjoyed just walking around and getting to learn about all these companies, job opportunities and places that are unfamiliar to me. It was fun to collect flyers and pens from each of the ones I was interested in,” first-year student Claire Klaus said.
The Career Fair was organized and designed by the UMaine Career Center as a way to connect students with companies from all different areas of Maine. Students can sign up for the fair and visit to speak to the representatives of organizations that interest them, and even hand out their resume and contact information to interested employers.
“Career fairs are a great way to get yourself out in the workforce and talk to different employers as a student,” first-year student Gina DiFederico said. “It really allows you to get experience before you graduate and get your name out there.”
Companies like AAA Northern New England, Acadia Hospital, Berry Dunn, Camden National Bank, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Fox Forestry LLC, Maine Department of Transportation, Sherwin-Williams, Sweetser, Wright-Pierce and dozens of others set up trifolds, posters, television displays and many other eye-catching artworks and media to grab students’ attention.
Members of the Center Center and staff from the Recreation Center walked around and set up tables near the front of the gym in order to help students navigate through the maze of tables and answer any relevant questions.
“I really liked that the Career Center had a table by the check-in station where I could go for help or to learn more information about a particular company,” second-year student Alainie Sautel said. “As I walked around I learned so much about companies that I had never even heard of, or never even thought would come to a career fair.”
The event ended two hours early because of inclement weather, but the snow did not stop the students from dressing up in business attire and making the most out of the opportunity.
“This got me out of my comfort zone, in a good way,” Sautel said. “It encouraged me to put aside my nerves and talk to a lot of different people at one time in one place. It is teaching me a lot about how to communicate with professionals and leave my mark.”