N.C. A&T OCS provides Resources for the Career Fair Remix


Jamille Whitlow, TheYard Editor

The Office of Career Services will be providing resources for students to use in preparation and duration of the virtual Career Fair Remix. 

The virtual career fair remix will be held  on Oct. 15, from 12 – 5 p.m. This year’s theme for the career fair is “Creating your future”. Due to COVID-19, this year’s career fairs have been held via Handshake. 

According to Cynthia Downing, executive director over the Office of Career Services (OCS), over 425 employers have interacted with N.C. A&T’s students. There will be over 90 new employers in the career fair remix in comparison to the career fair hosted on Sept. 16. Due to technical difficulties from the last fair, 15 returning employers will be in the career fair remix. 

After the career fair in Sept., OCS made changes to better accommodate students and employers. There was a time constraint when the career fair was from 9-2 p.m. Some employers and students were in different time zones; therefore, the time changed to 12-5 p.m. so participants would not have to be awake at an untimely hour. 

During the last fair, employers implemented screening requirements such as minimum GPAs and classifications. However, the screening requirements limited students’ opportunities because their graduation year was incorrect or their GPA was not in the system. The OCS has told all employers to not create screening criteria to prevent this occurrence again. 

There is a helpdesk available where the OCS staff can talk to students via Zoom if there are technical difficulties with an employer. The staff member can obtain the student’s email address and the employer’s so they can stay in contact and schedule another meeting. OCS advised screenshotting an employer’s contact information because the session’s chat does not save prior messages.  Downing expressed the importance of testing your equipment before the fair.

“It is so important to test your equipment before the career fair, we stress this to employers and students,” said Downing. 

Employers have had difficulty connecting online due to the company’s firewalls. 

Students must register prior to the career fair on Handshake to meet with employers. Google Chrome is recommended as the most secure browser to use while on Handshake. OCS continues to post webinars on their website about helping students before, during and after the career fair. 

In the events tab on Handshake’s website, there are drop-in sessions relating to workshops and professional development series specific to employers. Students also have the option to schedule appointments with career counselors and participate in information sessions. 

Downing encourages students to use the job filter when searching for career sessions. Using the job filter allows students to participate in sessions that pertain to their prospective career. As the fair is approaching, it is never too late to participate, students can register and sign-up for sessions the day of the fair. However, Downing encourages students to register for the fair and sign up for sessions as soon as possible. 

“I encourage students to register and sign-up for sessions as soon as possible because employers can start networking before their one-on-one session,” said Downing. 

If students are interested in going to graduate school in the future, there will be a Graduate Fair on Nov. 11.  For more information about the career fair, contact Cynthia Downing at [email protected]. Information related to preparation for the fair and elevator pitches, contact Christy Dunston, Associate Director for Career Counseling Programs at [email protected].