Fifty-one local businesses, organizations, and government agencies will be participating in this year’s Career Fair helping students learn about career paths, employer expectations, and professional opportunities to get their careers launched.
By Riana Jicha.
University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s 2023 Career Fair will be held Wednesday, April 19, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Campus Center Plaza and Mookini Library’s lanai.
The purpose of the multi-faceted event is for UH Hilo students to meet potential employers, build professional connections, and network to find internships and career opportunities. Fifty-one local businesses and organizations and government agencies—with booths and activities, including a photo booth to learn how to create a professional image—will be sharing with UH Hilo students what they’ll need to know about career paths, employer expectations, and professional opportunities to get their careers launched.
The Career Fair is sponsored by UH Hilo’s Office of Student Employment, the Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center, and the College of Business and Economics. Participating organizations such as Hilo Medical Center, the Hawai‘i State Judiciary, and companies like Sherwin-Williams will have the opportunity to find well-rounded and prepared UH Hilo soon-to-be alumnae.
“We’ve been hearing that businesses are finding it difficult to fill positions since the covid pandemic,” says Raynell Espaniola, a UH Hilo alumna with a master of arts in counseling psychology who now serves as a specialist at Student Employment. She sees this event as both providing employers a chance to seek employees and students to find employment before graduating this semester.
Espaniola says the event will also help students who are not graduating yet, as they navigate their aspirations. Attending the fair will give students an idea of how to reach their future goals as they explore the different internship opportunities, companies, and fields represented at the fair.
Students prepare for Career Fair with series of workshops
Students have been preparing for Career Fair with a series of workshops to help develop the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully job hunt.
“To prepare our students for the Career Fair, we decided to also offer various workshops throughout the spring semester,” says Espaniola. “The workshops will provide students with the skills required to prepare for their career journey: how to create an effective resume, interview do’s and don’ts, how to develop your personal brand so that you stand out from all other applicants, and how to dress for the career you want.”
The first event covered the basics of resume writing at a workshop on February 8 and March 1, where students were educated on the newest writing techniques for developing resumes and cover letters.
“Students were also given the opportunity to not only ask questions about their resume but have our career advisor and career counselor review their resume and provide valuable feedback,” says Espaniola. Helen Tien is academic and career advisor at the College of Business and Economics, and Marcy Martinez is a certified career counselor at Student Employment. Students have another chance before the Career Fair to receive valuable feedback on their resumes on April 13 at the Student Service Center, room W201.
Other workshops already held were about creating a brand to help students develop themselves to stand out during job interviews. Questions during the two-hour events were geared toward each student’s self-reflection and understanding of their own strengths and how to overcome obstacles. Espaniola explains that these questions are important to employers but also students. “These questions would then give the students a bigger picture of who they are, the careers they want that align with who they are, and how to market themselves appropriately for those careers.”
After developing a sense of self, mock interview workshops were provided on campus to apply those skills. Participating students and community members covered questions commonly asked in interviews and how to navigate any potentially difficult questions. “Students were also taught that during an interview, they are also interviewing the company they have applied with and that it suggested that they too ask questions.” Students are encouraged to exercise this skill during the upcoming Career Fair.
Another workshop was on business attire and learning how to dress for success, held on April 12. A Pop-Up Shop at the workshop made previously loved (donated) business attire available at no cost to students who do not have access to the appropriate clothes recommended for attendance at the UH Hilo Career Fair and job interviews.
By Riana Jicha, a double major in administration of justice and political science at UH Hilo.