MTSU student Matthew Farris, a junior entrepreneurship major from Murfreesboro, made the rounds at the recent MTSU Fall Career Fair, hoping to get a better idea of what lies beyond the Blue Raider campus in regards to a professional career.
“Right now I’m just trying to explore job opportunities and figure out where I want to end up after I graduate,” said Farris, who was among 600-plus students and alumni who took advantage of the Oct. 3 event. “I figured the Career Fair would be a great place to start that search. There were a couple of businesses that interested me when I looked at the list, so I decided it would be worth my time to come out today.”
More than 130 recruiting organizations showcased their organizations to hundreds of job-seeking students and alumni at this year’s fair — the university’s largest recruiting event and only campuswide career fair — held inside MTSU’s Murphy Center on the track level and hosted by MTSU’s Career Development Center.
Dusty Doddridge, center director, said he was “very happy” with this year’s event, which drew more than 130 recruiting organizations, including more than 20 Fortune 500 companies, ranging from sales to law enforcement and aerospace to media.
“Employers were impressed with student preparedness and many employers were pleased to have full interview schedules after the career fair,” he said. “Students expressed appreciation for the number and variety of employers that participated.”
The Career Development Center provides services such as career counseling, help with resumes, job search coaching and assistance with graduate and professional school applications. The center saw a record number of student contacts for the 2018-19 academic year, with roughly 2,900 student contacts. The center also posted 2,400 job openings, according to its annual report.
“This is a unique time of unprecedented growth in the Midstate region with Nashville having been reported as the No. 1 job market in the country,” Doddridge said. “MTSU and MTSU students and alumni are well positioned to access this job market. The Career Development Center is excited to be launching a universitywide initiative on Career Readiness that we’re branding as Raider Ready. The goal is to engage as many members of the MTSU community in supporting the career readiness of MTSU students.”
One way the campus helps students with entry into the workforce is through Raiders Closet, which provides free professional attire for students looking to improve their wardrobe options for the interview process. The Career Development Center now manages this resource, which was created several years ago by business education professor Virginia Hemby.
“Over 75 students utilized the service prior to the Fall Career Fair,” Doddridge said. “The MTSU and local community have been quite generous in donating business attire and we have a large inventory of clothing options on hand, all free to students.”
MTSU graduate student Tomi Bello, a health care informatics major, returned for a second year to see what types of employers were on hand. She’d like to see a bit more diversity in the companies on hand to recruit, such as those in the health care and science sectors.
“I’m looking to see what kind of prospects I have,” she said, adding that she appreciates the university hosting an event that brings together so many employers in once place.
The Career Development Center is located in Room 328 of the Keathley University Center. For more information, call 615-898-2500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Jimmy Hart (Jimmy.Hart@mtsu.edu)