With December graduation quickly approaching, MTSU senior Malcolm Dorsey of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, came to Murphy Center this week with his job face on as he made the rounds of employers on hand for the university’s Fall Career Fair.
“I was looking for an opportunity that would take me to the next step after graduation,” said Dorsey, a history major with a concentration in Africana studies and a minor in sociology and who’s looking to get into the field of education. “I came in with a mindset of ‘I’m not leaving without them knowing who I am.’”
The Career Development Center of Middle Tennessee State University hosted the annual fair Wednesday, drawing a sold-out roster of more than 150 employers from throughout the region — from financial services to nonprofits to healthcare and more — as well as several graduate and professional schools for those looking for advanced degrees and certifications.
Free and open to MTSU students and alumni, the fair drew an estimated 800-plus students over the three-hour event, which is the only campuswide career fair of the academic year, said Dusty Doddridge, interim Career Development Center director.
“We had a really good steady student turnout throughout the day,” he said.
While all students are strongly encouraged to dress professionally, bring resumes and have their “elevator pitch” ready, Doddridge acknowledges that some more casually dressed students, particularly freshmen and sophomores, may stop by between classes “for the learning experience” of seeing what types of employers are on hand and how graduating seniors dress and carry themselves.
Dorsey admitted that he was somewhat reluctant to attend the fair because past career fairs he’s attended featured employers who “weren’t necessarily in my field,” but after exiting Murphy Center Wednesday he felt good about the contacts he had made.
Open to relocating to pursue his dreams, Dorsey said his ideal job would involve working with either youth or children, but he’s also looking for job security, a workplace where he can grow and a position that when he wakes up in the morning “it doesn’t feel like a job.”
Samuel Liggett, a corporate recruiter with Nashville-based IT staffing firm Collabera, was pleased with his interactions as he sought candidates for entry-level sales positions with the company.
“I love getting this face-to-face interaction, with seniors especially, because we’re based over in Nashville and love recruiting local talent,” he said. “I’ve met some great candidates and hopefully we can set interviews in the future.”
Eric Dodson, a junior criminal justice major minoring in information systems, was heading to speak with FBI representatives about any potential entry-level positions. The Memphis, Tennessee, native attended last year’s fair as well and appreciated the opportunity the event provides students to be exposed to so many different employers in one place.
“It’s great to get out here and get to know names, get to know people and put a name with a face,” he said.
The MTSU Career Development Center is a centralized comprehensive center that serves all students in each of MTSU’s nine colleges and also provides alumni services. For more information, go to https://www.mtsu.edu/career/.
— Jimmy Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org)
— Video by Kiara Chambers