Southeast’s Career Services’ Virtual Career Expo to Engage Students, Employers

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The Office of Career Services at Southeast Missouri State University has partnered with Career Fair Plus to bring students its first Virtual Career Expo from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30.

“Southeast Missouri State University is dedicated to launching extraordinary careers — even during a pandemic,” said Dan Presson, Career Services director.

Approximately 30 local, regional and national employers are registered to meet Southeast students of all majors during this year’s virtual event.

Employers know a Southeast student is hardworking, resilient and ready to engage on day one, Presson said. And while the format of the Fall Career Expo is different this year, he said students are prepared to join the workforce and make an impact.

“Like a lot of students, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted employment and internship opportunities,” Presson said. “Already this fall, it has been incredible to see how prepared Southeast students are for real-world experiences.”

For potential employers, preparedness matters in presentation, too, said Bob Garino, statistician with the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

“The way students present themselves at the career fair has an impact,” Garino said. “They should come prepared — decent attire, have a resume, be able to give a short overview of what they are studying and what they would like in a career. It’s typically a brief encounter, so it’s nice to have their resume to make notes on while things are still fresh and we have their contact information.”

Garino said the NASS has attended Southeast’s Career Expos for the last five or six years.

“We like the Math/Statistics program at Southeast and have found some good internship and full-time recruits,” Garino said.

For students attending a career event, be it in-person or virtual, Garino advised being open to different opportunities employers may present.

“Work environment and benefits are important to consider when making a career choice,” he said. “Most importantly, find something you really enjoy doing.”

Presson emphasized Southeast’s commitment to meet the ever-changing needs of students and alumni in the workforce.

“The Office of Career Services has been working with students and alumni to digitally network, polish personal online branding, and rewrite cover letters and resumes to include new skills learned during the COVID pandemic,” he said.

Career Services continues to offer students services such as career counseling, resume and cover letter reviews, interview preparation, internship guidance and more with adaptations for Zoom meetings or phone appointments upon request.

Presson said Career Services plans to host other career events offering students the opportunity to meet with employers across several industries.

The virtual Career Expo will require students to download the Career Fair Plus application, create an account and schedule employer meetings prior to the day of the event. A Sept. 16 email sent to students details each setup step and includes instructional videos and important notes about the Virtual Career Expo.

For more information, visit semo.edu/careers/events.

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