MSU Denver Benefits from Virtual Career Fair
It’s been over a month since the Fall 2020 semester began and the reopening plans for higher education institutions have varied across all institutions. The safety of students and staff is at the forefront of every university’s mind and the safety concerns extend to employers for career services staff across the U.S., especially as staff members have been opting for a virtual option when it comes to their regular fall recruiting. According to Dr. John T. Delaney, Dean of the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington, D.C., the “ways in which the university’s efforts to prepare students for careers and the workforce have evolved since the start of the pandemic.” One of the many ways that universities have been evolving is by hosting virtual career fairs.
Tennille Hamler, MA, Events Manager at Metropolitan State University of Denver, spearheaded MSU Denver’s first virtual event on September 10th using Symplicity’s Virtual Career Fair. “Our career fair was originally supposed to be an in-person event but with the COVID-19 concerns, it became apparent over the summer that we needed to plan for the event being virtual,” Hamler said, “It just so happened that Symplicity launched their new Virtual Career Fair product so we felt confident about hosting the fair in a virtual capacity. It took our team about one month of preparation before we held the virtual career fair.” The feedback following the virtual career fair, both from students and employers, was overall positive. The event’s success was in part because the platform was more robust than before. The students engaged with the one-on-one chat feature the most.
Hamler noted that there were several benefits to hosting a virtual career fair compared to an in-person event. “The cost-savings that came with virtualizing our career fair was great—we didn’t have to pay for catering or the rental space. Also, there wasn’t an additional charge to host the virtual career fair since it’s a free benefit with our Symplicity CSM system membership,” Hamler stated, “The other benefits of a virtual career fair are definitely the ease of attendance. Students don’t have to commute to campus—they can attend from anywhere using their computer or mobile device.” After experiencing success with their first virtual event, MSU Denver is planning on hosting three more virtual career fairs during the Fall 2020 semester. Hamler said, “I think the Virtual Career Fair platform is going to be a valuable tool to add to our repertoire of event type offerings, even when we return to campus and begin planning in-person events.”