Behind the scenes of the Career Fair

Xavier’s Career Development will host the annual Career Fair later this month

By Morgan Miles, Staff Writer

Every semester, Xavier students attend an on campus Career Fair, where they connect with potential jobs, network with company employers and practice their interview skills. 

Behind the career fair is a team ensuring the events are planned properly and run smoothly. Assistant Director of Career Development Alex Vest is the Spring 2023 Career Fair lead. 

Vest described the planning process required to run a successful career fair. He and the rest of the team plan as early as possible. 

“Planning begins for the future semester’s fair even when that current semester’s fair is happening,” Vest said. 

“So, there is planning we are doing now for our Fall Career Fair,” she added. 

On Vest’s to-do list for planning are tasks such as securing dates for the Fall fair, figuring out and adhering to an employer’s ideal hiring timelines and knowing when the most students will attend the fair. 

Assistant Director at Career Development Julie Wielonski also spoke on the advanced career fair planning. 

“I would say that planning for the spring college fair begins the month after the Fall college fair is completed… It is really always on the Career Development Team’s radar,” Wielonski said.

For a career fair to happen, external companies must be scouted, emailed and scheduled into the fair’s agenda. Some companies are always at the career fair, but new companies interested in hiring college students may also attend. 

Employers are prioritized by Career Development if they consistently earn positive student feedback after fairs or garner a lot of student interest by attending. 

Photo courtesy of @XUCareer via Instagram

Xavier’s Career Development office sponsors and executes a career fair once each semester. During the fair, students meet with potential employers and network.

“Any company that is connected with Xavier on Handshake is able to register for our career fairs,” Vest explained. 

The upcoming Spring Career Fair will be held on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 2-5 p.m. in Cintas Center. It will have 108 employers attending. A number, the highest since the start of the pandemic. 

As COVID-19 restrictions lift, the career fair is able to have increased student capacities and more room to fit in more employers. 

“The maximum we are able to bring is 110, so we have nearly maxed out, and this is a large step up from our fair last year… which had about 60 employers,” Vest said.

Vest also noted that every career fair he’s worked on since arriving at Xavier in Fall 2021 has been attended by at least 300 students. 

Though this number is good news to Career Development, Vest noted that this could be higher and encourages students of any major or minor, background and interest to attend. 

“Several employers are seeking to recruit students for graduate school programs and for post-graduate volunteer experiences… Many employers will be hiring for full-time employment and for internships,” Vest said. 

Over time, career fairs at Xavier have come a long way — beginning in 2000. Many different forms of career fairs have been implemented by Xavier: virtual and in-person options, workplace recruiting and networking events. 

Pulling the strings are leaders like Vest who ensure that Career Development is aiding students in securing successful futures and work lives to the best of their ability. 

“We are always looking to see what new ways we can supplement our career fairs and bring experiences that suit all Xavier students,” Vest added.

Career Fair Prep Week, from Feb. 6-14, provides a chance for interested students to prepare for the career fair. 

Opportunities during prep week consist of workshops focused on interacting with employers, career coaching, one-on-one drop-ins, practicing elevator speeches and the LinkedIn Headshot Photo Booth where students can get a free professional headshot.