Penn College to conduct virtual career fair
Pennsylvania College of Technology is connecting its real-world-ready students with eager prospective employers despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The college will conduct its annual Fall Career Fair virtually, Oct. 20-21, providing ample opportunity for students and employers to discuss internship and full-time job opportunities. Employers may register for the Career Fair at https://pct-csm.symplicity.com/events through Oct. 16.
“Our office has been improvising since the early days of the pandemic, when we shifted many of our services online,” said Shelley L. Moore, director of career services. “Using a virtual platform for the Career Fair is the latest example of adapting to social-distancing and travel restrictions for the benefit of both students and employers.”
Last fall’s Career Fair attracted 458 companies and a record 1,942 students. College officials aren’t sure if the virtual format will match that participation. But they are confident the online career fair management tool is a suitable substitute for face-to-face interaction between employers and the “tomorrow makers” enrolled in more than 100 fields of study.
The virtual career fair platform from Symplicity Corp. enables video chats between students and employer representatives.
“We know this is new for our students and most employers, but it’s the most viable, appropriate option because of the necessary COVID-19 safety protocols,” Moore said. “We are offering online training for both employers and students in advance of the Career Fair, so they feel comfortable navigating the virtual platform.”
The online system allows students and employers to create profile pages. For students, the page features their resume. For employers, the page provides basic company information and highlights job openings. For both, the profiles aid research on each other prior to the Career Fair.
Based on that research, an employer can invite specific students to their virtual booth, and students may join an employer’s queue for an eventual, timed video chat with a company representative. Students are permitted to enter multiple employer queues simultaneously to maximize video chat opportunities.
A note-taking function provides the option for students and employers to record information during the interaction and facilitates follow-up queries and thank-you messages.
“This year, we’ve had to embrace the unknown, and moving the Career Fair to a virtual format is the latest example of that,” Moore said. “However, one thing we do know is that our students and their technical, hands-on skill set remain in demand despite the volatility of the job market caused by the pandemic. Many of our majors prepare students for careers that are recession-proof.”