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Texas A&M-Central Texas hosts Fall Career and Internship Fair

Cove Leader-Press 

Texas A&M University Central Texas held their annual Fall Career and Internship Fair in the Bill Yowell Conference Center at the Warrior Hall Wednesday, with more than 50 employers available for students and community members to speak with. 
The event was hosted by the TAMUCT Career and Professional Development Department and is one of three career fairs held throughout the year, with another Career and Internship Fair and an Education and Non-profit Fair held in the Spring semester. 
Heather Wheeler, director of career and professional development for TAMUCT, said that this year’s event had the largest turnout in the university’s 10-year history of holding the fair, both in employers and student attendance.  In the past, the university averaged a turnout of approximately 10 percent of the student population. Wheeler said that by the halfway point of the event, she expected they would exceed that percentage. 
“In comparison with some of the A&M University sister schools, we see a much larger population of our students,” Wheeler said. “Other career centers average about 2.5 to 5 percent of their student population, so we get a lot of our students to come out to the fair.”
There were 53 booths with employers ranging from education to analytics to computer science and law enforcement. 
“It really spans the entire breadth across the board of what our programs are here on campus,” Wheeler said. 
Wheeler said tha the increased turnout of employers is partly due to the adoption of a new job board database system called Handshake, which allows employers to connect with the university in a more streamlined way. The university also collected of local employers in surrounding communities and utilized Dean of Student Affairs office staff to reach out about the Career Fair and bring those potential employers to the students. Booths that had a Friends of CPD banner were employers who sponsored the CPD guidebook.  
Wheeler said the feedback she had received throughout the event was all positive, from both students and faculty and staff alike. 
“We just want to see employers coming out,” Wheeler said. “We tell students all the time that the number one way that people get jobs is through networking, and so we are making sure to pass that information along and letting them know that this is a premier networking opportunity, and so we want to continue to grow with our community partners and employers.”
The Texas Veterans Commission set up in the lobby to offer resume review services, while inside the Bill Yowell Conference Center and in the nearby hallways, dozens of employers set up. 
Tara Stone, who attended the fair, said she isn’t a student at the university but found out about the Career Fair through friends who work at the university. 
Stone was in the oil and gas industry for 11 years and spent the last three years as a caretaker. She said she came to the fair with an open mind after looking over the list online of employers scheduled to be at the event. She said she was initially only interested in four or five but interacted with employers she hadn’t expected to see at the event. 
“I want to find something that’s not one extreme or the other,” Stone said. “I like the helping people aspect, and I like the office aspect but I don’t like the solitude.”
Stone said she thought the fact that TAMCUT offers the Career Fair was awesome. 
“I think community outreach anywhere is good,” Stone said. “I think that they do nothing but better our community.”
Stone added that if people didn’t come to the Career Fair, they missed out. 
The next Career and Internship Fair will be February 12, 2020 and the Education and Nonprofit Fair will be March 5, 2020. 

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