Career Services events hope to prepare students

The career services department will hold three career fairs this spring in the hopes of educating Missouri Southern students about the importance of making a good first impression in the professional world.

  The University is working in collaboration with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce: Young Professionals Network (YPN) to provide events in addition to the fair that offer students a chance to prepare to meet future employers.

Amanda Bilke, co-chairperson of YPN, will offer her advice to students at the events.

“As up-and-coming young professionals, these are things that [Southern students] should not be nervous about,” she said. “We wanted to make this an event for students to learn some things as they move forward after graduation and as they get out in the community to meet people.”

An instructional lunch series will begin March 26 at noon in the Alumni House and will continue every day at that time until March 29.

Nicole Brown, director of career services, said the event will focus on “trying to sharpen students skills for searching for a job.”

There is no need to RSVP for the series, and lunch will be served to the first 50 students free of cost.

Students can also take advantage of the Career Fair Cram, which will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on March 27 in the Alumni House.

“We’re hoping to make this a really intensive session for students so that they come out of it feeling sharp and ready to go get a job,” Brown said.  

Area professionals will be available to critique resumes and cover letters, and will also hold mock interviews to give students more confidence when speaking to future employers.

The Alumni House will also host an etiquette and networking dinner designed to prepare students for formal business dining.

“More and more employers are taking people out to lunch as part of the interview process,” Brown said. “We want to let students know that the game is still on when you stop for lunch with an employer.”

At the dinner, students will have the opportunity to receive one-on-one advice from an area business experts and learn tips, not only for dining with professionals, but for networking and making business acquaintances. Brown said the lunch would provide students with an opportunity to “get their foot in the door” with prominent area professionals.

To attend the dinner, students can call (417) 625-9343 to RSVP with a deposit of $10, which will be returned at the event check-in.

Bilke hopes these events will help to “keep local talent here, so that way we can help our community grow and make it better.”

The spring career fair will be held on April 4 from 10 a.m to 2 p.m on the third floor of Billingsly Student Center.

“This event will help students find opportunities to network, to meet people, to find jobs more easily and to keep them here,” Bilke said.

Over 40 employers have already registered to attend the spring fair, many of which, Brown says, offer employment outside of Joplin as well.  

The BSC ballroom will also host the education career fair from 1 pm. to 4 p.m. on March 7, and the biomedical science career fair from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on April 5. These fairs focus on connecting students with employers in specialized fields.

The career services department encourages students to make an appointment for resume help prior to the career fair events.

“We want [students] to present those employers with their finished product; we don’t want it to be a rough draft,” Brown said.

For more information about career fair events or to make an appointment with career services, interested persons may contact Nicole Brown at (417) 625-3137 or stop by the career services office in suite 217 of the Spiva Library.