Job fairs showcase student abilities
Students benefit from the relationship built between Ohio State Lima and more than 75 businesses and organizations around the area that provide meaningful, hands-on internship opportunities.
Employers looking for entry level employees often hire on proven personality traits and habits like attention to detail, perseverance, resourcefulness and curiosity, versus technical skills.
“When students take their first steps into the professional job arena, one of the challenges is to demonstrate that they have those traits that employers are looking for,” said Rachel Richardson, career services manager at Ohio State Lima. “Ohio State encourages all students to spend time in the workforce while they are undergrads to develop skills, explore their fields and build a solid portfolio of work they can use to springboard into permanent positions after graduation.”
The job search itself for internships and co-op positions can demonstrate many of the soft skills and positive attitudes that can land those first jobs. Recruiters look for evidence of a strong work ethic, professionalism, and a level of interest and persistence.
“We work with our students to make sure all their positive traits shine through to employers,” Richardson said. “The job fairs let them put into practice the things they have been working on with their resumes, personal pitches and professionalism both in the classroom and in special sessions.”
There are as many ways to find an internship as there are interns at Ohio State Lima. The campus has developed relationships with more than 75 businesses and organizations around the area that provide meaningful, hands-on internship opportunities.
Luke Buettner, an electrical and computer engineering major, attended one of the big campus job fairs at Ohio State Lima.
“Attending the career fair benefited me in a few ways,” said Buettner, a senior from Lima. “With a wide range of employers at the fair, I was able to hone my presentation skills for future employers, explore different career possibilities, and let a vast number of employers know of my interest.”
Buettner landed a summer internship at American Trim working in information technology. Beyond his technical skills, Buettner found he was developing his communication abilities, a skill he knew he needed but hadn’t yet begun to build.
“In working in a professional environment, I've learned the etiquette that comes with being a professional: proper communication between colleagues and clients and due-diligence to employer,” Buettner said. “With regards to being an Information Technology Assistant, my role in documentation and as a help-desk analyst has strengthened my communication skills.”
Students from the area who are enrolled on other Ohio State campuses often attend the Lima job fair to help narrow their search to places that allow them to live at home. Others hone in on the fairs that cater to industries they are interested in.
Linnea Stephens, an agricultural communication major, attended a job fair on the Columbus campus designed for students in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. She had her first internship opportunity lined up by November of her freshman year for the following spring. It was one county away from her hometown and within easy commuting distance. She plans to return to the same company but in a different region of the country for her next assignment.
“I went to the ag internship fair in Columbus,” said Stephens, of Columbus Grove who worked at Crop Productions Services in Delphos. “CPS was one of the few people who wanted to talk to me because I was only a freshman. They saw my initiative as a freshman already trying to get an internship.”
Ohio State Lima holds two Job and Internship Fairs each year for students, alumni and community members held during the fall and spring semesters. Both are free and open to the public to attend as a job seeker.