Money and work experience – the two things most college students covet most.
Mary Mahoney, assistant director of Career Services, has created an event to help students take a distinct step toward professional careers. The Spring Job and Internship Fair, free to all students, will be held on Feb. 4 in Thompson-Boling Arena from 2-6 p.m.
"What we are trying to do is provide an opportunity for potential employers from across the country and here in Tennessee to come into one space and be there to talk with students internships, summer jobs or jobs after students are graduating," Mahoney said.
With more than 150 employers registered to attend the event, students will have access to a plethora of opportunities. These opportunities are meant to ease the transition from college to the working world.
"I've got camps who want people just for the summer; I've got employers who are looking for students, for example, with supply chain or engineering to do an internship," Mahoney said, "and then obviously a lot of employers are looking for those students who will be graduating this semester."
The Spring Job and Internship Fair will provide students of all majors and degree levels the chance to speak to a variety of businesses, corporations and non-profit organizations in one room.
"There are the summer camps and businesses such as Exxon Mobil; even Dollywood is looking for interns," Mahoney said. "There is wide variety of companies."
Mahoney said the fair is crucial for sophomores and juniors needing field experience for future careers. However, the event is not limited to upperclassmen.
"Pretty much, no matter what year you are in school you want to take advantage of this opportunity," she said. "For freshman, it's just kind of good to go to see it because it can be intimidating."
Sara Beth Snyder, a senior in mathematics, attended a Career Services internship fair as a sophomore.
"Going to the fair really got me interested in different internships," Snyder said, "especially the Disney one."
In Mahoney's opinion, the fair is a convenient way to help students – especially those close to entering the workforce – reach their professional goals.
"The idea is to, one, try and get something that you pick up some experience," Mahoney said. "You earn some money, but if you can also get an internship that relates to your major you're getting hands-on experience that's helping you know more about that field."
Although often students credit the fair with their job and internship placements, the event can offer more than a potential paycheck.
"Even if a student doesn't get a job out of it, it's networking," she said. "It's learning what's out there, what are the opportunities and making connections."
All of the employers in attendance are looking for UT students and graduates for full-time jobs and internships. Most of the businesses will begin interviewing from the day after the fair through the rest of the semester. Students planning to attend must register prior to the event and upload a resume.
For registration and more information visit the Career Services website at career.utk.edu.