Hundreds of students donned their professional ware and carried their résumés to seek employment opportunities at Ball State’s Cardinal Career Fair in Worthen Arena Feb. 8.
“The fair is important for students because they get the opportunity to meet employers face to face, and to make a good first impression not just on paper, but in person,” said James Mitchell, associate director of employer relations at the Ball State Career Center. “It’s also an opportunity for students to explore different fields outside their major.”
The career fair provided approximately 150 career and internship options for Ball State students. On top of providing career opportunities, the fair also gave students a chance to get free professional head shots.
“I am at the career fair because I am looking to gain experience through an internship,” said sophomore computer technology major Noah Hayden.
The Career Center recently created a mobile app for students who have a difficult time navigating through the career fair. The Ball State "Career Plus" app provides not only a map of the arena, but also information about the employers, career fair tips and up-to-date announcements from the Career Center.
“Everybody has a phone. That digital opportunity provides better customer service to our students,” Mitchell said. “It’s a way for us to use technology to help communicate with our attendees.”
For students, the app was helpful for getting around the job fair, but it also served as an insight into the future.
“The career fair app has showed me what employers are looking for IT interns," Hayden said. "It really helped me narrow down the search for internships and what to ask the employers."
Ball State’s Career Center, which sponsored the career fair, helps students gain the job skills they need through many resources, including resume help, career coaching and Cardinal Career Link.
Out of the graduates in 2015, at least 93 percent of those students found jobs because of the resources the Career Center makes available, Mitchell said.
The Ball State Career Center has held the career fair every semester for about 30 years, and approximately 700 students attended the career fair last year.
The Career Center expects 700 to 1,000 students to attend this semester as a result of 30 additional employers joining the fair, but the number of students in attendance Feb. 8 has not yet been announced.