Western Washington University’s career and internship fair took place on Oct. 21, where representatives from various jobs gathered in the Multi-Activity Court Gym in the Wade King Student Recreation Center to give students a better idea of their future.
The event welcomed employers from around the country, including the Minnesota-based Fastenal Company, a supply chain company that distributes industrial and construction supplies.
Local employers also attended the event, including Boundary Bay Brewery and Bellingham Alive magazine.
The career fair also offered internship opportunities both in Whatcom County and different states.
“Attending a career fair provides practice in introducing yourself to employers, building your network of connections and an opportunity to learn about options to utilize your major or explore industry interests,” said Mindy Pelton, the Career Service Center’s associate director.
Amy Riedel, Whatcom Community College associate director for student access and career pathways, had a similar message.
“Students get an opportunity to connect with employers and explore career pathways that they may have an interest in and can talk about these careers with professionals in the field,” Riedel said in an email. “It can also help students to both expand their career and educational options, as well as refine them by talking with people in their fields of interest.”
A career event like Western’s can also give students a bigger picture of opportunities that they might want to be involved with if there are uncertainties regarding a career path.
“It can be helpful to attend to get exposure to a range of career pathways. The more opportunities and information that students gather and engage in, the better their understanding of these careers and can see more clearly how they relate to their own interests and learning,” Riedel said.
Paul Blinn, a fourth-year Western student who attended the fair, said he feels being able to make a connection in person is more powerful than through email or a resume.
“I think the best thing is being able to meet with someone face-to-face and just be able to connect with them because that allows you to stand out a lot more,” Blinn said.
Western hosts similar events throughout the year. The Technology and Engineering Career Fair will take place on Nov. 3 in the Viking Union’s Multi-Purpose Room.
“Participation in a career fair can lead to building connections, applying and accepting an internship or job that provides direct experience to utilize acquired knowledge from coursework at WWU, or build on skills learned from previous or current work experience,” Pelton said.
For further information regarding upcoming events, a workshop schedule can be found on the Career Services Center website.