February 21, 2023

145 Employers Will Court WCU Students at the Largest Job/Internship Fair Held Yet on February 22

Current Job Outlook Looks Promising for the Class of 2023 Following COVID!

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The job-hunting and internship mining season is officially on for college students, and the job market looks solid following COVID. In fact, according to the National Association of Colleges’ and Employers’ Job Outlook report for the Class of 2023, employers expect to hire 14.7% more students for jobs and internships compared to the Class of 2022. This is great news for West Chester University students who will be pounding-the-pavement at an on-campus job and internship fair that will bring 145 employers (the largest number of employers yet) on Wednesday, February 22, 2-5 p.m., in the University’s Student Recreation Center located at 275 North Campus Drive in West Chester.

Approximately 600+ students will learn about employment opportunities available in the region at the in-person fair that has been coordinated by the University’s Twardowski Career Development Center.

“Health, technology and education are in high-demand right now and this is reflected in the employers who will be attending the fair,” says Jennifer Rossi Long, career expert and director of WCU’s Twardoski Career Development Center. “This puts 2023 graduates into what is considered a very good job market. Post-COVID, we are seeing a surge in the number of employers who want to connect with students in-person. Given this, it’s important to note that students who will find the most success in their outcomes are most likely those who will be using opportunities to engage with employers on campus and at other in-person venues, rather than just submitting applications online. Students are preferring that in-person connection, as well.”

By speaking one-on-one with employers at the fair, students are determined to land job interviews for later dates. Exactly what are employers looking for these days?

“Employers are looking for employees who are able to adapt and be flexible,” says Rossi Long. “We have students who will be applying for positions that are hybrid or totally remote. This is different, because time-management skills will be especially critical. Students securing positions may not have physical access to their boss, so they will need to be able to navigate important nuances on the job.”

Rossi Long shares that employers are also looking for employees who have command of emotional intelligence. “In today’s hybrid job markets, employers want their employees to have skills that cannot be replaced by Artificial Intelligence. In addition to solid academic backgrounds, they need employees who bring skills that are inherently human — interpersonal communication, creativity, problem solving, and empathy,” she says.

There is also a give-and-take that appears to be much more prevalent in today’s job market. In addition to making positive connections with employers, many students are equally as interested in making sure potential employers’ values match their own and that employees’ best interests are top of mind.

Much is currently being done by those at WCU’s Twardowski Career Development Center to help students become comfortable with the process of interviewing. One of the most popular tools has been the use of “Big Interview,” where students are able to do a mock interview on their own by recording an interview and playing it back to hear what they said, how they said it, as well as watch the non-verbal gestures used.

Some professors are even incorporating “Big Interview” in their classrooms by submitting questions to the Twardowski Career Development Center for students to use. “This tool is proving to be a great way to integrate career-readiness in the classroom,” says Rossi Long. “The platform puts the power of the interview in the hands of the student whenever the student needs to access it the most.”

The fair is intentional in its multifaceted objectives. Ultimately, it has been designed to provide teachable moments to students at every stage of their job or internship hunt. In fact, the fair will even act as a training ground for job-hunting voyeurs or “first-timers,” students who will one day be pounding-the-pavement themselves for jobs or internships. While students interact with employers, graduate assistants will escort some job-hunting newbies who will watch intently as participant-observers and learn how one approaches an employer, what one says to an employer, how one dresses, and more.

New to the fair this year will be some exciting accessibility features to ensure that students feel their most confident when connecting with employers:

  • Ear plugs to help with those who have sensitivities to noise
  • Dedicated quiet spaces for those who need to regroup or take a break from the fair’s energy
  • Volunteer student floaters who will offer encouraging words to students and check-in to see if they have questions or need support (i.e., practice a handshake, practice their pitch, find an employer)
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