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UT’s Center for Career Development and Academic Exploration is committed to supporting students as they look ahead at careers and opportunities. The center will be hosting four virtual job fairs this month through Handshake, a career platform used by more than 900 universities across the country, to connect students and employers.

“Now more than ever, students want to take advantage of opportunities to engage with employers virtually,” said Stephanie Kit, executive director of the center. “The upcoming job fairs provide students with the chance to meet with dozens of employers in a variety of industries, and Handshake has converted the best parts of in-person job fairs to a virtual platform while leaving behind the long lines.”

Students can register for the fairs in advance and sign up for meetings with employers. During the fairs, employers will schedule 30-minute group sessions and 10-minute one-on-one sessions with students.

Junior marketing major Sean Dolan believes this virtual format will be advantageous for students.

“Last year I spent a lot of time just waiting to find an opening to speak to employers. I think the appointment structure will be a nice change,” Dolan said. “It feels less intimidating to me, not having to worry about jumping in or working for someone’s attention. I’m excited for the opportunity to talk one on one with recruiters.”

Dolan works as a peer career advisor for the center, hosting drop-in hours and Zoom sessions for students to get feedback on their resumes, practice mock interviews, and receive other help preparing for career opportunities.

“The best advice I can give to students going to their first job fair is to put yourself out there,” he said. “Just because it’s virtual, a lot of the same rules still apply—come in with a plan, talk to as many companies as possible, and just be confident in yourself!”

The upcoming job fairs cover a variety of fields:

Engineering/STEM Fair Monday, September 28, 2–6 p.m.

Supply Chain Management Fair Tuesday, September 29, 2–6 p.m.

Business/Retail/Government Fair Wednesday, September 30, 2–6 p.m.

Health Care Career Fair Thursday, October 1, noon–3 p.m.

Two additional fairs—the Herbert College of Agriculture and Construction Career Fair and the Communications Practicum, Internship, and Job Fair—will be held later in the semester.

Additional networking and career opportunities

Additional opportunities available for students include employer spotlights and Resumania.

More than 25 employer spotlights are scheduled between June and October. Employer spotlights are short Q&A sessions with various employers broadcast on the center’s Facebook page, where students can tune in, ask questions, and learn about the organization. Past employer spotlights can be viewed on the center’s YouTube channel.

Resumania is a virtual event in which employers are invited to help review resumes for students in preparation for upcoming job fairs. Employers are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 17, to assist students with their resumes via Zoom meetings.

The Center for Career Development and Exploration can help students prepare for a virtual job search by appointment or through virtual or in-person drop-in hours. The center also offers career coaching and exploration services. Visit the center’s website for more information.

CONTACT

Maddie Stephens (865-974-3993, msteph44@utk.edu)