On Wednesday, Nov. 4, a company known as the Education Design Lab held a career fair for University of Maine students to check out potential employers and companies as possible landing spots for their professional careers post-college. UMaine typically holds career fairs each semester, but this career fair was a little different. The fair was held virtually, as COVID-19 prevents large gatherings in Maine.
According to their website, Education Design Lab (EDL) is a “national nonprofit that designs, implements, and scales new learning models for higher education and the future of work.” The company has a partnership with schools across the country, UMaine being one of them.
“The Lab works on the ground with 135 colleges, over 60 employers, 10 regions, and thousands of learners, who need education programs and pathways that better serve their futures,” EDL’s website states.
A great aspect of the fair being online is that it is still accessible to anyone who is interested in checking out the employers who attended, Matthew Aranda, a spokesperson for Education Design Lab explained.
“The event is open until Dec. 4,” Aranda said. “Folks can still register and access the employer booth content., The only function not available is the chat.”
Interested students can still log on to the virtual event and check out their potential future employers. Some of the employers who attended the career fair were Target, Northern Light Health, Maine Rural Water Association, Thompson Financial Group and others. The fair provided opportunities for UMaine students both in the state of Maine and outside of it.
The event was run in an interesting way that took advantage of its virtual setting. There was a virtual lobby where you could see the entrance to the exhibit hall. The employers each had their own stands, with steps on how to interact with them below. Registration for the event closed at 140 registrants, with 62 of them actually attending. 17 different employers attended the event, and participants submitted a total of 17 applications to employers directly through the event.
Overall, the virtual career fair was a success. UMaine students were, and still are, able to check out many great options for their future careers and see what interests them. The next career fair that UMaine students will be able to attend is scheduled for Feb. 3, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.