Tri-C Hopes to Connect Students with Employers at Metro Campus Career Fair
While getting an education is an important to achieving success, another crucial step is finding employment. At Cuyahoga Community College’s Metropolitan Campus, a career fair gives a glimpse into the college’s efforts to prepare students for careers post-graduation. At the fair, held in the Metro Campus Center, students had the opportunity to visits tables manned by representatives from over 16 different organizations, businesses, and departments. “It’s a great relationship.” says Firefighter Tyrelle Kiongozi, at a table representing the city of Cleveland, Ohio’s Department of Public Safety. Kiongozi himself is a Tri-C student, having begun classes at the Private Security Academy in 2010.
Career fairs are an important job-finding resource for students, says Employer’s Relations Specialist Maya Walsh. She works with employers and promotes student hiring and participation in career events at Tri-C. “We reach out to employers of Northeast Ohio, especially in the Cleveland area where our campuses are located.” Walsh explains. She says feedback is positive, and many of the employers come back year after year. “Businesses love to give back to the community. We also find that a lot of a lot of the employers we talked to started their journey here at Tri-C, so they really wanna give back and they’re excited to work with us.”
Tri-C internal departments also participated in the career fair. “We’re always looking for alumni to come back and work for Tri-C.” says Amanda Van Wormer, talent acquisition specialist in the Human Resources Department at the college. In addition to career fair and opportunities, Tri-C also offers resources to help students create resumes and prepare for interviews. “A great resource is working with the Career Center. They will be able to prep you, make sure your resume’s up to date, and make sure you have as much confidence that you can walking into a career fair.” says Van Wormer.
“I’ve learned about a lot of opportunities that I think fit what I do.” says Showanda Bolwair, who graduated from Tri-C last fall semester. She says faculty on Handshake.com helped her make a resume and give her information on events like the fair. “They helped me go to the next level in life.”
Kris Stasek, a participant in the Woman in Transition program, found the experience to be very helpful. She wants to go into the teaching field or do nonprofit work. “These relationships with Cleveland businesses are very important to the [WiT] program and to the college.” Stasek says. According to her, two representatives at the fair expressed interest in cooperation with Women In Transition. “It has been really helpful in getting connections instead of just going down longer avenues.” says Jaylynn Davis, who hopes to enter the beauty industry. On possible improvements, he mentioned he’d like to see more diverse options in the future.
Another important resource for students are summer internship programs, says Van Wormer. “We always encourage students to take part in that program because it’s an amazing opportunity. You’re getting experience, you’re getting that class paid for, your book credits, all that stuff.”
Those interviewed often saw outreach to both employers and various career services as a key to success in job searches. “Staff members that are working here are here from other companies are wanting to find the best talent, so they are wanting to talk to you just as much as you’re wanting to talk to them.” say Van Wormer. “100% grab every opportunity you can. Do not wait for opportunities to be given to you.” advised Stasek. “I ask everybody, whether it’s the right office, or whether it’s the wrong office. Because somebody’s gonna direct you and there’s no shame in asking. You never know where there might be an opening for you.”