Story by Leah Ash, Culture Editor
Photos courtesy of the Aquinas Advantage Center
Despite inclement weather on Thursday, November 17, the AQ Advantage Center hosted the “Career and Internship Fair” from 1:30 P.M. to 4 P.M. in Sturrus. While it wasn’t the first career fair to be hosted on campus, it was the largest since 2018.
According to Dana Hebreard, the director of the Advantage Center and Career Services, this event turned out very well despite the weather. There were over 300 participants and 50 employer registrations for the event. It was also collaboratively created with GVSU after the October Career Fair at the DeVos Convention Center received amazing feedback from employers.
“An event of this magnitude would not happen without support from conference and events, campus logistics, creative dining and volunteers to cover the registration table and connect with employers,” Hebreard said.
Above all, this event was intended to give students the opportunity to meet people in person.
“Sometimes this is the only way to get an in-person connection with recruiters,” Hebreard said. “Especially if it’s a really competitive organization.”
At career fairs, students often end up talking to businesses that they either did not know about or were not planning to speak with, which can often arise in unexpected opportunities for students.
“A lot of times a student will come in thinking that they want to talk to specific companies, and then they just happen to talk to one or two others that weren’t on their radar, and all of a sudden a great opportunity arises,” Hebreard said.
Joseph Fox, the career coach at the Advantage Center, also encourages students to see where these events can lead.
“We were very pleased with the event,” Fox said. “Despite the snowstorm, we had great participation from students, faculty and staff. It was very encouraging.”
Both Hebreard and Fox mentioned a desire to host a career fair like this again in the future, but details are uncertain and the event itself hinges on student participation. In January, the Advantage Center will be hosting a summer opportunities fair that will be perfect for students who are looking for summer jobs or internships. It won’t be as big, but can still be just as impactful for those looking to advance in their chosen fields.