While the coronavirus pandemic has made student life challenging for the University of Maine, the campus is still committed to getting students the resources they need to achieve success. On Wednesday, Feb. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., UMaine hosted a virtual career fair, which was available to all students. Here, students would be able to learn about both local businesses, as well as some outside the state of Maine.
The entire event was hosted on CareerLink. CareerLink is a service run by the University of Maine Career Center that operates similarly to Linkedin. Students create a profile, input their field of study and year in school and are able to upload and edit their resume. They can also get in contact with employers based on their field of study, and set up interviews for prospective job offers.
The career fair hosted over 138 different businesses, including Hannaford, Key Bank, Lacasse and Weston Inc, Hartney Greymont, Holbrook Island Sanctuary State Park and many more. Normally, the career fair would take place in the New Balance Student Recreation Center. There, students would be able to walk freely, approaching employers that they had interest in to learn more about them. The virtual system adapted this by creating meeting rooms. Students were able to speak to employers for shorter one-on-one sessions in order to get a better feel for what the field was like and what certain jobs entailed. The virtual one-on-one sessions acted as a suitable substitute for meeting an employer in person. Students were still able to have the face-to-face interaction in a safe, online environment. With the vast amount of companies in attendance, it can be easy for students to get lost, or not know who to talk to. However, the career fair allowed students to filter businesses to certain keywords that better described what field they were looking at entering.
While the career fair was different this year changes were necessary to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Even with all the challenges that this pandemic has presented to both students and faculty alike, UMaine is still determined to help students find a path forward. Students looking to find additional resources, or want to try reaching out to businesses present at the career fair, can do so by creating a CareerLink account. There will likely be more career fairs throughout the year, so students should keep an eye out for any announcements made by the career center on campus regarding dates, times and sign-up periods.