[dc]D[/dc]ress pants and business skirts were the new normal on Wednesday Nov. 7 as students lined up well before 10 a.m. to attend the annual career, internship and graduate school expo in the Honeyman Pavilionin Brandscomb Auditorium Lobby.
Individuals hoped to find contacts, make connections with business people within Lakeland or otherwise, as well as find internship opportunities, full-time jobs and find out what it takes to get into graduate school.
“I like FSC because they put on expos like these and they really help us prepare for career development”
Eagerly passing in résumés and shaking hands with vendors, many students sought to use this opportunity to get a head start on planning for internships.
Jessica Wilson-McCoy, freshman, came to get information about what she should be planvning for her next four years at Florida Southern College.
“Freshman year, I want to start getting things like this out of the way early,” McCoy said, “It is best to cast a wide net and learn all I need to know now instead of waiting to the last minute.”
“I like FSC because they put on expos like these and they really help us prepare for career development,” McCoy continued. A record 300 students attended the career expo to gain information from the 48 vendors, 33 of which were prospective employers and 15 were graduate schools and other educational resources. Tables like the U.S. Army and non-profits offered other career-related opportunities as well.
Sponsored by the FSC Career Center, planning for this expo began well into the summer. Xuchitl Coso, director of career development at FSC, was very excited to see such a large turnout of students. “We do this in the fall because it is a good thing for the seniors who are graduating in December, but it also starts getting the people who are graduating in the spring to start thinking about their own careers,” Coso said.“It’s also good for juniors who are looking for internships and even freshman or sophomores who are just looking for part time jobs or to just make some connections.”
Lizzi Willett, senior, attended the career expo to check out the different booths. “I’m really surprised that so many people came and that there are so many different tables. It makes you realize how many different opportunities are really out there,” Willett said.
Beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m. students arrived early and were still arriving even around closing time. “Our employers were very impressed with the students. Three years ago we changed the rules [for students] to dress professional, but the employers loved that,” Coso said. “A lot of the employers have told us that they go to other expos and they don’t see that and that really separates the students from them, it really sets them apart. Dressing professionally made a huge difference.”
Stop by the career center to find out more information regarding résumés, internships and job opportunities. Several more events are being planned for this semester and the next for students needing help in planning their future careers.