Career Fair Offers Students Chance to Chat Virtually with Recruiting Companies

March 8, 2021

By Holly Hinson

University of Louisville Speed School of Engineering held a Spring Career Fair on February 18, 2021 for career-minded engineering students. Now that career fairs, like most everything else have gone virtual, employers that used to recruit for talent at exhibit booths or in breakout rooms in auditoriums, are now using chat rooms to connect with potential new hires.

Mary Andrade, Director of Career Services, said her department’s current software system built an online platform for a virtual career fair that provided the employer separate chat rooms where students could queu and wait for an invite into the room for an interview. More than 200 students viewed the virtual career fair, with 41 employers present to speak to job-seeking engineering students.

Mary said the fall career fair event is traditionally larger than spring, but after nearly a year of COVID-19, students may also be feeling some burnout. “I think at this point of the pandemic, students just feel overwhelmed with all the virtual offerings and are less willing to connect. “I am definitely looking forward to the time when we can have in-person events again.”

While career fairs are only one aspect of a job search, it’s an important opportunity which students should not miss, especially in light of the economic situation created by the pandemic, said Mary. “Students should also be networking with alumni, attending information sessions and applying for other external positions,” she said. “However, career fairs are very important in terms of connecting points for students to learn more about actively recruiting companies and put themselves out there for those opportunities that exist.”