Connecting and Networking through an Online Network: Providence College Holds Virtual Career Expo
By: Max Waite ’21
This past Wednesday, Oct. 21, the Providence College Career Expo was held virtually for the PC community. Over 450 students attended the redesigned event, where they were given the option to sign up for one-on-one or group sessions on the Handshake platform.
The Career Expo has always been a tremendous opportunity for students, not only to expand their networks, but also to gain valuable practice in communicating with business professionals. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire event had to be moved to a virtual format in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. Despite this, students were still engaged with and intrigued by each guest speaker.
Prior to the event, students were given the opportunity to participate in the “Expo Crunch” on Oct. 13-15 from 1-5 p.m. As part of this event, students could elect to receive extensive feedback on their resumes from employer partners of a student’s choosing. Another set of eyes is always helpful when reviewing resumes, for the advice provided from someone in a field you are interested in could enhance your brand image within the working world.
Dylan Clune ’21 appreciated the help he received on his resume, stating, “It was awesome to receive feedback on how to improve my resume in order for it to stand out.” He continued, saying, “It was great to experience the effort and care someone was willing to put in to help me out to make my resume even better.”
Given the virtual format, it was likely more difficult to ask questions within sessions. Originally, students could have the opportunity to have a brief one-on-one conversation with an employer and ask them questions about their line of work and their company. Within virtual group sessions, however, it could be more difficult to stand out amongst other attendees of a session, and students may have felt awkward asking questions or participating in conversations with large numbers of attendees in a particular session. Regardless, students received great preparation to take with them for future interactions within a professional environment.
Cam Offner ’21 stated, “I attended 3 sessions, all widely ranging in the number of attendees. I thoroughly enjoyed the Career Expo, but sometimes felt that it was difficult for some students to ask questions to employers. I truly feel that I received all the information that I needed in order to make the most out of the experience, as well as enhance my presence within the working world.”
A crucial component of the Career Expo, regardless of whether the event is virtual or not, is preparation. All students were strongly encouraged to research each of the industries and companies that they were interested in, even if they had participated in previous events of this kind. Through research, one could stand out and impress employers by showing their dedication and motivation. Alex Richards ’21 said, “I thoroughly researched every employer in attendance. The Expo is always a great opportunity to get your foot in the door and expand your network. There are a lot of opportunities to stand out at the Expo, and I strongly felt that I did my part to make the most out of the experience.” As part of the preparation for the Career Expo, students were also given the opportunity to attend the Career Development & What Employers Are Looking For Webinar on Thursday, Oct. 15.