FORT SMITH -- The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith held an all-majors career fair Thursday to connect students with career and education opportunities.
Roughly 50 vendors gathered in the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center with career backgrounds including transportation, law enforcement, banking, insurance, technology and IT to discuss full-time and part-time jobs, internship opportunities, graduate school enrollment and scholarships.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity for employers to meet our students on campus and fill positions in the River Valley," said Susan Krafft, executive director for the Babb Center for Career Services at the university. "We want students to take advantage of this event and practice their elevator pitch, build their professional network and put themselves in a position to have a great job or career."
Braden Nguyen, an ambassador for the school's Student Alumni Association and a sophomore studying psychology, said the career fair is important because it brings the companies and grad programs directly to the students.
"It saves them one step of having to go search, because they're right here, in person. You can get hired on the spot. And it's just a great opportunity to network, build relationships and to just build your resume," he said.
A news release from the college said all students who attended were encouraged to come dressed to impress with their resumes, which the Career Services department at the university reviewed prior to the career fair.
"We love getting to be out in the community; we love getting to meet students," said Katie Vereen, a corporate recruiter for Simmons Bank. "Whether it is helping someone find their first job after graduation or helping them continue in their career through new opportunities, we want to be there and be a part of this."
Vereen said a lot of students asked her about accounting and finance, as well as technology positions, marketing and technical writing.
"I met a wonderful student today who is looking for an internship in computer engineering. I recruit for that role. It is still open. So I'm really excited we can potentially fill that with that student," she said. "But we have a lot of positions open in this area and in our corporate headquarters, so I'm excited to tell them about it."
Chrystal Thomas, a recruiter for online programs for the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville said they always attend the Fort Smith career fairs to let students know about university system programs. She said students were mainly interested in learning about online business and nursing opportunities they can take after they graduate Fort Smith.
"Outside of that, I have today experienced a lot of students just asking about general career services help," Thomas said. "So it does seem like a lot of them are, as would be expected, interested in finding out information about how to get a job, how to best prepare themselves, how to find networking opportunities and what do we offer online students in that realm."