Colorado Universities Partnered Career and Internship Fair
Western Colorado University has forged a partnership with 12 other institutions of higher learning in the state to provide students with a new opportunity to launch a career or find an internship—even amid a global pandemic.
The Colorado Universities Partnered Career and Internship Fair will be held Thursday, Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature approximately 400 employers.
Institutions range in size from the biggest in Colorado to the smallest, all expressing the same need to help graduates and others be placed in an uncertain employment market. Those schools are:
- University of Colorado Boulder
- University of Colorado Colorado Springs
- University of Colorado Denver
- Colorado State University Fort Collins
- Colorado State University Pueblo
- University of Denver
- Colorado College
- Fort Lewis College
- Adams State University
- Colorado Mesa University
- Western Colorado University
- University of Northern Colorado
- Regis University
Earlier this year discussions began between Western and University of Colorado Boulder representatives about how COVID-19 had changed the job market. They decided to team up to create a virtual career fair co-hosted by both institutions. After reaching out to other universities that may potentially be interested, 11 other institutions jumped on board as well.
“This addresses job market issues, getting students to prospective employers that they don’t necessarily see from their home institutions, and also it builds an excitement around the virtual landscape for many of our schools,” said Western Assistant Director of Career Services Craig Beebe. “For Western its brand new because students haven’t been forced to engage with the university or employers in a virtual context before.”
The virtual career fair will be conducted through the online platform Handshake, which made the needed technology free for this year. The career website has long offered services to graduates by connecting them with potential employers, offering networking services with school alumni and offering student reviews of businesses. Due to the pandemic, the company developed a specific platform allowing students and businesses to connect.
Prior to the event, businesses will register and set a schedule for online meetings, giving students the opportunity to sign up. Rather than waiting in long lines at a career fair, both employers and students will have a set time to get acquainted. Employer registration is expected to open Oct. 1.
“One-hundred percent of revenues from this event will be distributed to the participating schools evenly and each school will commit to using those funds to support local needs,” said Beebe. “We saw an opportunity, and it was a decision of, ‘Well, we take advantage of this and start building some energy around it now,’ or we put our blindfolds back on and don’t.”
Beebe said he hopes to continue the virtual career fair as an annual event.
Author Credit: Chris Rourke
Photo Credit: Carley Clegg