UNLV Thomas & Mack Concourse was opened for students to meet over 200 employers from around the region and country on March 29. The Executive Director of Career Services Eileen McGarry answered questions and explained the specific details related to the cross-campus Career Fair.
McGarry began by outlining the work done by the career services office, particularly with outreach to students. “Our UNLV Career Services office, our campus, is organized where we are kind of a hub for all of the career services on campus, including our centers that offer specific services for students. We all work collaboratively on students’ behalf,” McGarry noted.
The career fair has been a regular occurrence at UNLV and has a standing relationship with employers regularly in attendance as an avenue for students and employers to create and build connections.
McGarry continued to note the variety of employers in attendance, noting, “We invite employers, really nationally, and you probably see employers coming from regional corporate headquarters and local Southern Nevada that are turning out.”
Students were able to evaluate career opportunities and meet employment representatives from jobs ranging across industries and entry levels.
This fair is an extremely large event that at capacity such as this year, filled the top level of the Thomas & Mack Concourse with employer booths filling the entire level and divided by industry area.
McGarry explained that the value of the event lies not only in the specific opportunities students are afforded but also begins to establish the value of their work.
McGarry said, “There are over 205 employers represented here, so our capacity is maxed out. What that says to students is ‘there is a real market for you, a need for the talent that’s here.’”
McGarry explained that the purpose of the fair is largely three-fold, “One of the things we note is that when students talk to employers, their likelihood of being successful post-graduation goes way up, there’s actual statistics that show the more employer connections, the more you talk to employers, the better your chances. It all kind of goes hand in hand.”
The UNLV Career Fair is open to all students regardless of class standing and can provide a variety of services to students across any point in their degree work. Students looking to work while continuing their education have opportunities to meet employers willing to work with students. Additionally, students are able to use these opportunities to build relationships or interests with potential employers prior to graduation.
McGarry said, “We want students to come in their freshman year, and talk and find out what is going on outside, so that as they go through their education they are doing it more purposefully, with more meaning.”
Based on academic standing, or even time left at UNLV, students may find their needs from career services different or not necessarily limited to a strict decision or full-time employment.
Regardless of what students are looking for from the program, the Career Fair is an option to form connections with employers.
McGarry explained, “You come here, one to meet employers, find out what’s out there in the world of work you are preparing for. Two, internships. A lot of these employers are offering either career tracks or internship opportunities. Then the third thing is obviously if you’re an alum or an upcoming graduating senior, this is the place you’re going to find the opportunities.”
McGarry made a note that while there are emerging ways to be noticed or become employed, in-person recruitment events continue to hold their place.
“You can do a lot online. You can find job postings online, on Indeed, you can search, but when you can be face-to-face with people, that is when the connections start happening,” McGarry said.
Finally, McGarry concluded on a note about student outcomes from the event adding, “A lot of our students are getting interviews following this, getting their resumes in the right hands. So we are hoping great career outcomes will come from this.”
With almost 1,000 students estimated in attendance on the day of the event, this fair brought a glimpse of the national career landscape to students on campus.