2023 Spring Career Fair helps students connect with employers


Aja Carter

Employer speaks with students and introduce their organizations. This semester’s career fair held 140 organizations, including graduate schools looking to recruit Washburn students.

On Feb. 15, 2023, Washburn students kicked off their career search at the 2023 Career Fair. The fair was held at Lee Arena between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. where more than 100 organizations set up booths for new hires.

Washburn’s career services is connected to about 8,000 employers from coast to coast through Handshake. Each semester, these employers register to visit Washburn’s career fairs and get to know students.

This semester some of those employers included the United States Environmental Protection Agency, KSNT, WIBW, Reser’s Fine Foods, Wichita State (as a graduate school) and many more.

Career services hosts these fairs every semester averaging 250-350 students in the spring and in the fall the fair averages 700-800, as all students in the Washburn University Experience class attends.
Faculty in Wasburn’s career services encourage all students to attend the fair regardless of their year or major. With such a large amount of organizations, there are a variety of opportunities for students, even ones they may not expect.

Pamela Houston, a Washburn University alumna and a community involvement coordinator in the office of public affairs for the EPA, spoke on federal work and opportunities for students in almost every major. Houston graduated from Washburn in 1996 majoring in mass media. She uses her education from Washburn for her work in the EPA.

The faculty at Career Services hopes that students take these career fairs seriously as they can be imperative for a student’s success, providing an opportunity for work post-graduation.

Amilee Brian, junior in respiratory therapy, shared why she believes career fairs are important.

“There are so many options that you might not know about until you come here and you see. I’ve talked to at least 10 different hospital organizations that I didn’t even know half of them existed,” said Brian. “So that was really good for me to get an idea of where I could go after graduation and what kinds of opportunities there are for me.”

While many students attend career fairs and find them important, others become overwhelmed when considering their plans for the future. With so many organizations in one place at the same time, the process of finding one that fits a specific major can be difficult.

Kent McAnally, director of career services, shared some advice for students who are anxious about attending the fairs.

“It is overwhelming. It would have been overwhelming to me when I was a student. A couple of things that you can do, one is, do a little bit of homework ahead of time,” said McAnally.

McAnally suggested students make a list of five or six employers they would like to connect with. The hosts provide table maps detailing where each organization is in the room. Students can use the map to find the employers they want to connect with. This takes the pressure off of the student and allows them to focus when entering the fair.

Brian also provided a tip for fellow students who may be overwhelmed with the process.

“I would say get a friend, find somebody you know who is also going and just come anyway. I know it’s hard, but there are so many opportunities, and I think finding out some of those opportunities will help relieve some stress about the future, knowing how many things there are out there,” said Brian.

Washburn’s Career services will be hosting an education career fair on March 7 and will continue with their semester career fairs.

McAnally provided few recommendations for students who attend these fairs. He advised students to dress professionally, as these organizations are strong on first impressions.In addition, career services also provide an introduction script on their website that students can use when greeting employers. Finally, McAnally thinks that students should have some questions ready for specific employers. This will show interest in their organization and will provide the student with some good feedback.

For assistance in finding your career path, internships, jobs, etc. reach out to Washburn’s career services through email call (785) 670-1450 or make an appointment via Handshake.


Edited by Rakesh Swarnakar and Simran Shrestha