Scores of businesses, nonprofit organizations, school districts and police departments took positions before displays and tables on Thursday, Feb. 20 at Ferris State University. Students and alumni were among the people who passed through in search of opportunities during the Spring 2020 Career and Internship Fair in Jim Wink Arena.
The Ewigleben Sports Complex buzzed with activity as Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services staff and student employees helped participants learn about short-and long-term positions from nearby exhibitors. Serena Bow, of Detroit, is a third-year student in the Graphic Design program. She attended the fair in business attire, with a portfolio that featured examples of her work.
“I would love to get an internship opportunity for this summer, preferably in graphic design, so I can be exposed to the industry and apply what I have learned,” Bow said. “I attended an event in the University Center last year, but I came today with a specific goal to find a position that I can enter after the semester. These are great experiences because they allow you to talk to people and make connections.”
Megan Haynes, a 2014 graduate of Ferris’ Business Administration program with a certificate in Human Resources, attended the fair to secure students for summer work with Rieth-Riley, a leading paving contractor in the region. Haynes operates from the company’s headquarters in Goshen, Indiana, but said interns that she hoped to identify could take positions at plants in Big Rapids, Petoskey, Houghton Lake or Traverse City.
“Our internship program is our top priority when considering this event,” Haynes said. “We are also looking to place students from Construction Management at our locations in Benton Harbor, Lansing and Grand Rapids. This is a great chance to talk with candidates and learn about their interests.”
Haynes said the students they bring on as interns might see a variety of duties during their assignments.
“We place students in project estimation roles, where they can learn about the bid process,” Haynes said. “There is also great value in having them experience fieldwork with our project superintendents. We also have quality control positions for students who are motivated in that regard.”
Haynes spoke with freshman John Clausen, of Boyne City, a Construction Management student who already has secured a Rieth-Riley internship at its Petoskey location.
“I had attended the fall Career and Internship Fair, which lead to my submitting a resume and entering a conversation with their contact in Petoskey,” Clausen said. “I considered their offer and agreed to it. I am looking forward to the experience this summer.”
Clausen continued to tour Jim Wink Arena and visited with a representative of Alta Equipment, an industrial and construction equipment provider.
“I am thinking about my next internship and any way that I might advance my career,” Clausen said. “I hope to find an opportunity to better myself by building experience while I advance toward my degree.”
Participating exhibitors at the Career and Internship Fair ranged from Fortune 500 conglomerate Honeywell to Grand Rapids-area construction firm Eastbrook Homes, and its representative seeking to fill positions with the United States Census Bureau, in their 2020 count process.