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Inaugural IT Connect Fair matches 120 students, job recruiters

Students crowd around the registration table at MTSU’s first IT Connect Fair Nov. 14 in the Tom Jackson Building. The event aimed to connect students with information technology employers for potential jobs and internships. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

Ian Taylor and Alyson McNear found themselves among nearly 120 MTSU students getting a charge out of the first IT Connect Fair.

“This is a great opportunity and a great experience,” McNear, a junior computer information systems major from Memphis, said of the Nov. 14 fair.

Held in Cantrell Hall inside the Tom H. Jackson Building, the free event matched recruiters and hiring managers from 13 information technology-related companies with students for potential jobs or internships.

McNear took advantage of a chance to distribute her resume and “talk to the different recruiters to see if you want to do an internship or find employment once you graduate.”

Taylor, a senior computer information systems major who plans to graduate in May, said the fair gave him more knowledge on possible job opportunities and internships to “really get a future career out of this.”

The fair was a collaboration between MTSU’s Career Development Center and the university’s growing student chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals.

“Our attendance goal for this event was about 75 to 100 students, and we definitely exceeded our goal,” said Camiren Hamilton, president of the AITP student chapter. “Both the employers and the students were pleased with the outcome.

“Some of the recruiters said this was the best career fair they had been to all year. The recruiters were very excited about making contacts with our professional organization, AITP. The event was a huge success. We will definitely continue to host this event in the future.”

Career Development Center Director Bill Fletcher and Dusty Doddridge, assistant director for employer relations, also said employer feedback on the fair was extremely positive.

“They all had several viable candidates they wanted to bring in for interviews,” Fletcher said.

“One recruiter reported having more candidates in the first 30 minutes of this fair than he received at a daylong fair at one of our sister institutions. This is a testament to the quality of our CIS and computer science programs at MTSU.”

HCA, Design Source, Ingram and FedEx were among the employers sending representatives to recruit MTSU students for job and internship openings. “Some of the region’s leading employers attended,” Doddridge said.

MTSU’s career center has many online resources to help students prepare for the work world, including how to create a better resume, making the most out of interviews and how to dress for success. It is part of the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership at MTSU.

To learn more about the career center, call 615-898-2500 or visit www.mtsu.edu/career.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Bart Lowe, left, a senior consultant with Decision Source in Nashville, gathers information from Alyson McNear of Memphis, an MTSU junior majoring in computer information systems, during the Nov. 14 IT Connect Fair.

MTSU graduate student Justin Hysler, left, visits with Matthew Edman, assistant vice president of internal audit for HCA in Nashville, at the MTSU IT Connect Fair. In the background, Ian Taylor, center left, a senior who will graduate in May 2013, chats with HCA business intelligence specialist Lorelei Samuelson.

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