On April 7, the UT System is holding a virtual career fair for students and alumni to meet employers nationwide during a live, online recruitment event.
This event sparks a precedent for the UT system to host a virtual career fair collaborative with other UT colleges and was made possible with efforts from University Career Center Executive Director Mario Vela and Interim Assistant Director of Employer Relations Regina Gomez. All 11 UT institutions are participating in the event, including UTSA.
“[There were] three goals we decided early on at the University Career Center for the new academic year,” Marketing Associate at the University Career Center Anthony Riojas said. “These goals were to offer students and alumni innovative ways to be recruited by organizations, strengthen our current employer partners and to connect employers that had not previously recruited UTSA students and alumni.”
The career fair suits candidates seeking full-time, internship, co-op, summer and part-time jobs.
“This event will also offer opportunities to ask questions about the company and network with recruiters and professionals from many different functional areas,” Riojas said.
Those participating in the fair will benefit from the opportunity to meet with companies while saving money on travel expenses and speak to employers from the comfort of home.
“Many industries are well represented, and they are recruiting students and alumni from many degrees,” Riojas said. “From companies hiring for all degrees, to a variety of industries and locations. Companies involved in the fair range from military organizations like Americorps and Air Force Civilian Service to Texas school districts like Midland ISD to marketing firms like Alta Marketing.
Riojas also discussed companies offering work-from-home options.
“We’ve had many conversations with companies, and they are moving to virtual work for both internships and full-time opportunities,” Riojas said. “During this event, students and alumni should feel comfortable asking these types of questions and other questions that they may be uncertain about. [The ability to work from home] will also depend on the industry and the type of work. Healthcare is an example where a work from home option isn’t available for all roles. However, many companies have moved their operations to virtual work … many companies may not know all the answers at this point.”
Riojas encourages participants to prepare and research the companies they are interested in. Students can utilize many of UTSA’s resources like the University Career Center’s resume templates and VMock, which lets students review their resumes.
“If you are prepared with a resume, knowledge of the company, and questions of the specific functions or roles that the company is recruiting for; this may lead to an opportunity,” Riojas said. “In addition, you will be able to network and build relationships for future opportunities.” UTSA’s career counselors hold virtual sessions on Webex which can be utilized by participants with questions on recruiting strategies and efforts.
The career fair will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, for students and alumni to meet with employers. However, the fair works on a flexible time frame, meaning chat times will vary based on the employer. Students and alumni looking to participate should prepare by reviewing which times their ideal companies will be available online, as that will guarantee interested candidates a spot in the general chat. Employers can also invite candidates to a private chat to allow them to expound upon their work experience and qualifications.
Riojas said events like the virtual career fair are going to continue occurring.
“This event was pitched prior to COVID-19 with the goal of bringing innovative and collaborative ways of recruiting at UTSA, and we expect these types of events to continue,” Riojas said. “At the moment, we are having conversations with San Antonio-area universities and Conference-USA universities about collaborating on virtual career events for upcoming semesters.”
For those interested, register here.