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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MU Career Services launches first Reverse Career Fair

Bethany Olson prepares a sign for the Reverse Career Fair. Photo by Elise Krivit/[email protected]

Normally at career fairs, students and other job-seekers browse information booths set up by potential employers. But at Marquette’s first Reverse Career Fair, which will take place Feb. 7 in the Alumni Memorial Union ballrooms from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the exact opposite will be true.

The event was planned by Bethany Olson, an event planner and career counselor at the Career Services Center, and will involve more than 50 employers and student organizations.

The event’s motto, “They do the walking and you do the talking,” sums up the process: student organizations will occupy booths while potential employers divide attention among the potential employees.

Olson said she introduced the idea at Marquette after she heard of other campuses planning similar events.

“We did some research and found that employers were interested in the idea and students seemed excited about it,” Olson said.

Student organizations must finance the decoration and establishment of their own booths, but Olson said as an incentive to properly prepare and impress potential employers, the Career Services Center is offering a reimbursement fee of $25 or a $25 Jimmy John’s gift card.

Olson said this money also serves as an attempt to involve student groups that cannot afford to pay various fees for sufficiently equipping their booths.

A $200 grand prize Sobelman’s gift card will be given to the booth that best encompasses creativity and originality.

Some employers in attendance include the Milwaukee Teaching Fellows, Northwestern Mutual Bank and the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, according to the Reverse Career Fair Web page.

Max Schuette, the acting site manager of the Milwaukee Teaching Fellows, said his organization will seek specific characteristics among Marquette candidates.

“We are looking for students who will be graduating soon,” Schuette said. “But besides that, we want members who have shown past achievements.”

Schuette said the organization will also seek individuals who exhibit an honest passion in closing the achievement gap in Milwaukee schools.

The Career Services Center held a mandatory training session last week, Olson said, where practice activities included setting up a mock booth and completing guide packets.

“I’m confident that these student organizations are prepared to meet and impress any employer,” Olson said.

The invited employers were specifically recruited because Marquette has established familiar relations with them in connecting with graduates entering the workforce, Olson said.

Schuette said the Milwaukee Teaching Fellows’s relations with Marquette students have been beneficial since the organization’s inception in 2008.

“At Marquette, the students have been (especially) great resources and outstanding candidates,” he said.

Students, including Jessica Paro, a junior in the College of Communication and president of the MU Ad Club, have thoroughly prepared for the fair next week in hopes of impressing potential employers.

“I have asked my (Ad Club) members to practice their interview skills and to be sure that they have resumes and business cards ready,” Paro said in an email.

She also mentioned the Career Services prizes as an incentive to further engage her organization and said MU Ad Club’s booth will serve as an opportunity to visually impress potential employers with a professional table display.

Olson stressed that employer-student relations are not the only benefits of this event.

“Student organizations can benefit from connecting and working together with their own team,” Olson said.

Nevertheless, Olson said the central goal of the event is to provide students with the ability to network with employers and gain experience.

Paro agreed, and said the fair may help her organization’s members secure jobs that could otherwise be difficult to obtain.

“This experience will definitely help us improve our interview skills and hopefully allow us to make contacts with people who are interested in our careers,” Paro said. “I do not see any downsides to this experience.”

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