Asbury Connects Students with Future Employers
Asbury University students got a career kick-start recently at the Spotlight Career Fair in Lexington, Ky.
Hosted by the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU), the Spotlight Career Fair connected students with 69 businesses, non-profit organizations and graduate school programs.
Asbury junior Dylan Pohl, a history major with a business minor, attended the Spotlight Career Fair on Thursday. Pohl says the fair was a good opportunity to “get a foot in the door.”
“It gave me more of an idea of what’s out there,” he said. “There’s a lot more than I was aware of — more companies that you don’t really hear of that are looking for employees. The people there are very informative and helpful, because they’re invested in hiring.”
Twenty schools from AIKCU attended the event, supplying a diversity of talent that drew employers like AFLAC, Verizon, and the Keeneland Association.
“We get together with all the other schools so there’s a good, diverse mix of student candidates for them to interview,” said Kate Vodicka, assistant director of Asbury’s Center for Career and Calling. “That’s what brings the bigger corporate names in.”
According to Jason Clayton, director of the Center for Career and Calling, more Asbury students participated this year than ever before, making Asbury attendance the third-highest of any school participating in the fair.
Vodicka says this growth is partially a result of efforts by the Center for Career and Calling to make the event accessible for all students, not just upperclassmen.
“We’re really trying to develop a new culture of career-readiness on campus, so that students start thinking about these things before senior year,” Vodicka said. “A lot of times, students think it’s just for seniors, but if you’re a sophomore and you want to know what kinds of graduate school programs are available to you, there are a diverse range of graduate schools attending that you can investigate, as well as internship opportunities.”
The most valuable aspect of the career fair, Vodicka says, is the opportunity for students to build their professional networks and to gain experience talking to employers.
“It’s great for students to learn how to answer basic questions about themselves, and to learn what they like and dislike about different kinds of professional employment,” she said.
Vodicka has found that students are often intimidated by the idea of a job fair, but she says once students have actually attended, they feel differently.
“Those that go usually say it was a great experience,” she said. “It’s not as scary as people think. It’s just a great way to start a conversation with an employer.”
--by Joel Sams ’15