Some students seek full-time employment in their career field before graduating from college, while others may wait to seek employment until they have officially left school. And while there are a variety of paths students can take after college, various student organizations exist to aid in the job search, such as the Center for Advising, Career and Experiential Learning at Ohio University. , which hosts its annual accounting, finance and business career fair to help students find a slice of their future.
On September 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the ballroom of the Baker Center, the career fair will be held for all majors, and students will be able to connect with employers from a variety of companies. Holly Seckinger, associate director of employer and industry engagement at the Center for Advising, Career and Experiential Learning, said 86 companies have registered to attend.
“I know this job fair is called ‘accounting, finance and business,’ but there’s a whole variety of companies coming up,” Seckinger said. “Cardinal Health, Maxim Healthcare, so there are healthcare companies. There are lots of accounting firms, there are banks and so there are lots of companies hiring different types of majors. I don’t know if there’s a single student on campus who wouldn’t or couldn’t enjoy the (fair).
The upcoming accounting, finance and business fair is one of the two largest career fairs that typically take place each year, Seckinger said. The next one will be on September 28th and is the Fall Career and Internship Fair. The timing of job fairs and post-baccalaureate opportunities depends on when employers are hiring.
“And then there’s a graduate fair, a law school fair, so there are smaller fairs,” Seckinger said. “Some companies hire earlier. Accounting and finance are two that historically hire earlier in the year where some people don’t start hiring until the spring, so we’re trying to get everyone to the spring and fall shows.
Career fairs are not the only measures offered at the university to help students in their job search. At McGuffey Hall, Seckinger said there is the Career Closet where students who need professional attire to wear to professional events can find what they need at no cost or return. Students do not need to make an appointment and can drop by Mondays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“So if you need to put on a blazer or find a pair of pants, we’ve got it all organized over the summer so people can stop and check out the clothes if they need anything,” Seckinger said.
Another way for students to connect with potential future employers and develop professional skills is through the Multicultural Student Business Caucus, or MSBC. The organization’s president, Azaria Greene-Williams, who studies community and public health, said this is a relatively new group on campus.
“MSBC really started with me and three other women at the university and being part of the multicultural community,” Greene-Williams said. “We wanted to create a business (organization) that catered to multicultural students. And we’re basically just the newest, most revamped version of the Black Student Business Caucus, which was started by Byron Ward.
Greene-Williams also said the lack of diversity within the College of Business makes it difficult for multicultural students to connect with one another.
“We just wanted to give multicultural students in the College of Business the opportunity to grow and stand out in the business arena with the skills and opportunities they want,” Greene-Williams said.
Similarly, Deika Ahmed, director of marketing and public relations at MSBC and a junior marketing student, said that one of the main reasons she wanted a business organization for multicultural students was how isolated it can be being one of the only multicultural students. in a class within the College of Business.
“There are rarely multicultural students in my classes, as often I am one of the only people of color in the College of Business,” Ahmed said. “So just having that community aspect of an organization that’s going to support you and know and can handle those kinds of situations is going to help me in the future.”
While Greene-Williams and Ahmed hope that MSBC members will acquire the professional skills they desire, the concept of professionalism can be non-inclusive.
“Professionalism looks different to me because as a black woman there are a lot of things, like my hair is sometimes seen as unprofessional,” Ahmed said. “We have to do a lot of code switching when we’re in a work environment versus your personal life.”
But what professionalism is and means for Ahmed is to have confidence in his skills.
“My perfect definition is being comfortable with the skills you have and being comfortable with the work you’re going to do,” Ahmed said. “For me, professionalism would instill that confidence in students who come into this organization, but it would also let them know how they can deal with it when they are the target of racism.”
Greene-Williams said MSBC provides students with the opportunity to learn from OU alumni and others who have gone through situations in the professional world that students will likely go through in the future as well.
“We also provide the community aspect of it,” Greene-Williams said.
Although a new organization on campus, MSBC is already creating ideas to help members network with people in the professional workforce while fostering connections within the organization itself. How people achieve their professional goals may be different, but Greene-Williams narrowed it down to focusing on skills she can develop even further.
“I think for all of us on our board, professional development has felt different,” Greene-Williams said. “But for all of us, I think it comes down to our abilities and our desire to improve, which is why we created this organization.”