Career Services hosted its annual Manufacturing, Information and Technology (MIT) Career Fair on Wednesday, Feb. 13, from noon to 2 p.m. in Pioneer Hall.
Thomas Barnikow, the interim associate director of Career Services, saw the MIT fair as a way for current students and alumni from the College of Science and Engineering to meet potential employers in person.
“The typical resume submission process is now done online, so employers no longer have the opportunity to meet candidates in person before selecting which applicants to bring in for an interview,” he said. “An employment fair allows employers to meet directly with the students in a professional setting so they have a better understanding if a candidate’s personality aligns with their corporate culture.”
Barnikow believes the fairs are an important way for students to show their interpersonal communication skills. Many employers say that their new hires lack this skill, he said.
“It is impossible to understand how proficient an applicant is at interpersonal communication from an online application,” he said. “Over the past few years, we have heard from hiring managers that employment fairs are now their top priority as it relates to hiring initiatives because they get to have a personal conversation with each student or alumni.”
Jenny Wideman, a human resources manager of Amigo Mobility, has been attending the fair for seven to eight years.
“The quality of students that we get (keeps me coming back to the MIT fair),” she said. “We always have phenomenal luck with our engineering interns out of SVSU. We have had a handful of HR interns we have been able to get, and there has been a lot of SVSU graduates in our company, including one of our owners.”
Despite the weather, Amigo Mobility had several students come up to them during the fair.
“We’ve had a good mix of manufacturing engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers and a couple of IT candidates,” she said. “We’ve done pretty well considering the weather and the time of day.”
Barnikow has received positive feedback about the fair from students and employers.
“Students were already telling us within minutes of the employment fair ending that they had already set up interviews with the companies that they had met with,” he said. “Employers were very complimentary of the quality of the students that they met with. Some employers even said it was the best employment fair that they have went to.”
Several students took advantage of the MIT fair, including Lydia Mattar, a math senior. She came to the fair to find jobs related to her major. She talked to Auto-Insurance and Quicken Loans, among others.
“I haven’t gone to a career fair like this since my freshman year, but since I’m actually actively looking for a job now, I thought it was kind of important to attend this one,” she said.
Reported by Sierra Masson, Vanguard Reporter