The upcoming fall career fair will be hosted virtually through Washburn’s official job site, Handshake, next week on September 16. This event will require greater levels of preparation from students who hope to participate as the outbreak of COVID-19 has forced the university’s career office to make drastic changes to the format of the fair.
Valuable information for success at the fair:
The career fair will be held online this semester through Handshake. This is an online, career-finding platform available for free to Washburn students who wish to find jobs in the local area, stay up-to-date on upcoming career fairs and more. Similar to LinkedIn, Handshake is a helpful tool for all Washburn students, and is necessary for those who wish to participate in the upcoming career fair.
Once on Handshake, students can register for the fair and other events at https://washburn.joinhandshake.com/events. After registration, students can sign up for group or one-on-one sessions with employers. Each employer is different and has specific time slots available. Some only have group sessions and some have one-on-one sessions to sign up for.
It is also important for students to complete their profile on Handshake prior to registering for any events. This involves typical steps such as uploading a profile picture, previous work history, a short background bio and other relevant information.
Most importantly, students must apply quickly and be conscious of the timetable for the career fair. Registering for the event the day before or asking the career offices at Washburn important questions the day of the fair should be avoided. Procrastination is a bad habit for career-minded individuals.
“There is a little bit more emphasis on advanced preparation this year,” said Kent McAnally, Director of Career Services. “If you want to get on those job opportunities you need to do it beforehand. Some of those one-on-one sessions may be gone, some may not be able to log in after the group session has started, you need to sign up before the fair starts.”
78 employers are signed up to attend the event next week. A large number of grad schools, 25 in all, will be in attendance this year, with some coming from as far away as Vermont and London.
“I think the fair is important because some people may know from an early age where they want to be but some may not have an idea about what they want,” said Priscilla Samarripa, Assistant Director of Law School Admissions. “Sometimes student’s interest’s change. I think it’s important for students to get out there and talk to employers and grad schools just to find out what’s out there. I think it’s another great way to educate them about what opportunities are available to them.”
Students need to be aware of the opportunities available leading up to the career fair, such as the JCPenney Suit-Up event. The famous retail giant is offering Washburn students a 30% coupon that can be applied to the regular, sale and clearance price of select career dress apparel, shoes and accessories. These include luggage, fashion jewelry and handbags. To receive the in-store or online coupon, students need to text code ‘WASH’ to 67292. Next, they should receive a text reply that includes the coupon. This coupon can be used up to the day of the career fair.
“JCPenney is committed to connecting company, community, and cause by investing our time and resources in several areas, including professional clothing needs and career readiness support,” said Kristen Bennet, Communications Manager at JCPenney. “Suit-Up events are a great way for us to maintain that commitment and help students feel prepared for their careers at the same time.”
In years past, JCPenney offered on-site sizing for those buying business suits, but this year they will adhere to a safer protocol in light of the outbreak. However, there are some discounts available in the salon along with beauty consultations in the Sephora section of the store. Purchases of $49 or more ship free for Washburn students.
“JCPenney will offer a special extra 30% discount to all students during this event,” said Bennet. “With this substantial discount, men can easily purchase a JF J. Ferrar suit jacket and pants, shirt, tie, belt, and shoes for approximately $200, and women can purchase a Worthington suit jacket, skirt, shirt, and shoes for around $100.”
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the career fair, reach out to career services at Washburn, either by visiting them on campus at their offices in Morgan Hall, scheduling an online discussion via Zoom, or emailing them your list of questions about the event. Career services can be emailed at [email protected]
“Here’s my biggest advice: you have to read your Washburn email, don’t ignore it,” said McAnally. “This is the way the university communicates with you, and this is how I keep in touch with you about the fair. There’s not going to be time on the day of the event for me to answer questions. If we start this at 10:00 AM, I’m not going to be able to answer everyone’s questions. It’s all laid out in the emails sent to your Washburn email accounts.”
Edited by Shelby Spradling, Jason M.