This semester’s UW–Platteville Career Fair will be one of the largest to date as far as registered employers present.
The fair, planned for Tuesday through Thursday, Feb. 10–12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will feature 296 employers. The spring 2014 Career Fair had 226 registered employers in attendance.
This semester’s fair has been expanded to include Velzy Commons as well as the Harry and Laura Nohr Gallery in Ullsvik Hall.
“The Career Fair offers a tremendous opportunity for our talented students to network with business leaders in their prospective fields,” said Chancellor Dennis J. Shields. “It also allows us to showcase to the business community the high level of talent this institution produces. Our students are in demand, and the growth of these semi-annual Career Fairs is a testament to that.”
More than 2,400 students attended the spring 2014 Career Fair, up from 2,195 in the fall of 2013.
Each major and college on campus will be represented at the fair. “We want to encourage students to attend all three days,” said Dr. Jennifer Williamson-Mendez, director of the Academic and Career Advising Center. “A company may be primarily focused on STEM students but they may also have opportunities for students from other majors.”
One of the employers who will have a keen eye on future Pioneer graduates is 3M of Prairie du Chien.
“We have been very successful in recruiting great co-op, intern and full-time engineering candidates from UW–Platteville,” said Shelly Gruber, human resources manager with 3M. “One of our recruitment strategies is to target college graduates from the area who are interested to stay in the area. Given our relatively close proximity, this contributes to our successful recruitment and partnership with UW–Platteville.”
Recent graduates from UW–Platteville can expect “entry level supply chain and engineering positions supporting manufacturing value streams comprised of coating or converting processes” at 3M, said Gruber. “Starting salaries are in the range of $65,000 and higher with a very competitive benefit package.”
“We believe that UW–Platteville has strong students who are graduating with solid business knowledge,” said Richard Bower, retail management recruiter with Kwik Trip Inc. in La Crosse. “Being a Midwestern company, we have seen numerous students attending UW–Platteville from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.”
According to Bower, students can expect a variety of positions upon graduation. “With Kwik Trip Inc. we are searching for assistant store leaders [managers] at the store level, individuals who can become store leaders. They have the opportunity to grow into higher positions at our corporate office to various positions in human resources, training, manufacturing, warehouse, accounting, marketing, etc.”
Williamson-Mendez anticipates the fair to be the most successful in recent history and has three goals for this fair. “First, I want to have the most employers represented on campus,” she said. “This goal has been met as we have exceeded the spring 2014 fair by 69 employers. It is my expectation that we facilitate opportunities to connect employers from around the country with our high caliber students to meet their staffing needs.”
Second, Williamson-Mendez wants to ensure that students know about the fair and are prepared to attend and present themselves professionally. “This goal is being met through advanced distribution of the Career Fair book at multiple locations and online,” she said. “It allows students two weeks to access the employer lineup and research the companies to ensure they know if a company might be an appropriate fit for them and can ask good questions at the fair. The ACAC team continues to present to classes, organizations and residence halls providing career fair tips and strategies so that students have a better understanding of what to expect and how to prepare. The team is also offering emergency résumé clinic hours to be sure that students’ résumés are as professional as possible.
“Third, I want to make certain that the employers and students who attend our career fair are well taken care of, feel a level of satisfaction and ultimately persevere in meeting their goals. Whether the goal is to find employment or find employees, I want to exceed attendees’ expectations.”