George Mason University

News at Mason

Career Services hosts virtual job fair as one way to help students and alumni find internships, jobs

June 4, 2020   /   by Pam Shepherd

While the in-person networking that took place at the Career Fair earlier this year isn't possible right now, students and alumni can still talk to employers at a virtual career fair that University Career Services is hosting June 18-19. Photo by Ron Aira/Creative Services.

George Mason University Career Services specialists are available to assist job seekers of all levels throughout their career development process by guiding students to identify jobs in their major, helping them find part-time work or an internship while in school, reviewing resumes, practicing interview skills, networking, and much more—and all of it is free.

“My concern for students and alumni is that they feel disconnected, are going at it alone and won’t tap into their support network and take advantage of available resources,” said Saskia Campbell, executive director of University Career Services.

Fortunately for recent graduates, students looking for internships, or alumni who have recently lost their jobs, Career Services has more than 6,000 active postings.

“There are employers still hiring and finding creative ways for interns and employees to work remotely. Even the recruiters without immediate openings want to engage with students and alumni at this time so they have qualified candidates already identified as soon as they can hire again,” she said.

As part of its offerings, Career Services is hosting its first virtual job fair from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday, June 18, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, June 19.

Saskia Campbell, executive director of University Career Services. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services.

Employers’ virtual booths will open approximately two weeks before the fair. Job seekers can visit the e-booths to see job and internship opportunities and apply, watch company-branded videos and read recruitment materials, and engage with employers via the Question and Answer feature by submitting questions and returning for feedback. During the fair, booths become “live” with recruiters available to engage with students via video, phone, and text chat. To participate via computer, click here; to participate using a tablet or smart phone, click here.

Participating employers include a range of national, regional, and local employers in a variety of industries as well as federal and local government, who all have active internship/job postings in Handshake.

The virtual fair format will include group video and text chat, as well as an audio call in for those who can’t connect online.

Students must register in advance to attend the virtual job fair. The registration deadline is noon on Monday, June 15. For more information about the virtual job fair, to schedule an appointment with specialist, or to learn about the dozens of services provided, visit the Career Services website.

Career Services is connected to more than 13,000 employers—all of whom can post in Handshake, while more than 700 actively recruit at Mason through networking events, career fairs and on-campus interviewing.

Some employers choose to serve as clients for capstone projects, host a group of students at their site, volunteer to review resumes or portfolios, donate goods/supplies for Mason traditions, and a select number choose to be a partner by contributing financially to Career Services and Mason. Further, there are more than 2,000 Mason alumni who are registered recruiters in Handshake who share internships/jobs, volunteer to provide career advice to students, and attend career fairs to represent their employer and inspire current students. 

Because becoming career-ready takes additional months of preparation on top of earning a degree, Career Services encourages all students to learn how to communicate both verbally and in writing to boost their qualifications. Campbell advises entry-level individuals to plan for at least a six-month job search and reminds them that 80% of the search process should be spent networking and expanding or strengthening skills rather than only searching online.

“Employers want T-shaped candidates, who have transferrable skills, such as communication—especially important right now, digital technology including various teleworking platforms, and professionalism/work-ethic for working remotely. These skills broadly apply to any employer/industry,” she said.