Event connects nearly 200 career-minded students with more than 40 employers for networking and job prospects
Story & Photos: Lisa Sollie
Students eagerly waited in line for the annual Tiger Career Fair to kick off Tuesday, Oct. 17 in the Student Union Building (SUB) at the University of West Alabama. The all degree fair is held each fall. Almost 200 students filed in the SUB over the course of the three-hour fair to speak to potential employers, engage in networking and gain resources from Career Services.
According to Gena Robbins, career services coordinator at UWA, there were 41 employer booths registered for this year’s event, including the Alabama State Department of Education.
“We always feel welcomed when we come to UWA,” noted Kimberly Mitchell, a recruiter for the state department, “and the fair is so organized with detailed emails outlining all the information we need. The students are also well-dressed, greet us with a firm handshake and the way they speak and the questions they ask —it does my heart good as an educator to see the development and the obvious maturity they possess.”
Robbins, who has been at UWA for 12 years, the last four in her position with Career Services, believes the Tiger Career Fair is an important professional development opportunity for UWA students to not only connect with employers to learn about more than just full/part time job openings, but also internships, job-shadowing and networking. It also supports UWA’s mission and commitment to employers and our communities by providing a competent and skilled workforce to support a thriving economy.
This is the second career fair Alantra Pearce has attended. The senior integrated marketing communications major has found the event very helpful, particularly for those graduating soon. The Livingston native was also one of 44 students who elected to have a professional headshot taken, a free service provided this year by UWA’s Office of Strategic Communications to UWA students attending the fall fair.
“We’ve had a lot of good hires from the university in the past and respect those who earn a degree from the University of West Alabama,” noted James Dyer with the Alabama Department of Revenue, who has been attending UWA career fairs for the past four years. “Gena is great at what she does, keeping us in the loop to make sure we know about the events. I’ve lost track of how many times she’s forwarded me student information after the fair as well as random times during the semester so we’re really appreciative of the relationship we have with her and UWA.”
Career Services will reach out to UWA faculty this spring to offer Tiger Connect sessions. These college specific employer and student connection events for senior and junior students will offer direct employment engagement. For more information about Career Services, contact Gena Robbins at firstname.lastname@example.org.