CLEMSON — Littlejohn Coliseum is accustomed to playing host to thousands of people. From the excitement of ACC basketball to multiple gatherings of family and friends each year at commencement, the recently renovated arena stays pretty active. Such will be the case Jan. 22-24 when the venue welcomes 356 prospective employers and more than 1,000 recruiters to its concourse for the spring Career Fair.

The fair runs from noon-4 p.m. each day. The first two afternoons are designed for Clemson students majoring in engineering, computing and sciences. The final day is aimed at students from business, healthcare and communications majors. In a change from years past, employers in the field of education will be on hand for the final day as well.

Clemson students network with prospective employers at the 2018 Fall Career Fair.

The Career Fair offers Clemson students opportunities each year to network with prospective employers.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

While prospective employers attending the Career Fair often are in search of upperclassmen, officials from the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) said it shouldn’t deter freshmen and sophomores from making inroads with recruiters.

“Even if you’re not looking for an opportunity following this semester, start networking with employers and doing your homework,” said Neil Burton, CCPD’s executive director. “We offer résumé review and mock interview preparation for students who desire feedback. We try and give students an opportunity to polish themselves before they go through the fair.”

Lisa Bundrick, CCPD’s assistant director for events and employer relations, advises students seeking gainful employment to speak to anyone and everyone during the three-day, 12-hour marathon.

“Don’t go into it close-minded,” she said. “Most employers travel a long distance and want to talk to students. Have some idea beforehand what the employer does, and if you don’t know, take advantage of our student lounge to do the proper research.”

Students are admitted into the Burton Gallery in the southeast corner of the arena for registration. Burton Gallery also serves as a home to Career Fair sponsors and as a lounge for employers, who are spread throughout the concourse.

After-fair interviews take place inside north side suites at nearby Memorial Stadium, although some employers who are waitlisted will hold interviews later in the CCPD.

Typically, CCPD has held an Education Fair later in the spring semester. Bundrick said 45 schools and districts will be represented on Thursday, Jan. 24.

“Because there’s such a shortage of teachers, they’re getting hired earlier and earlier each year,” she said. “We have decided to move it up and combine it with the greater fair. We’re excited for education majors to be a part of this.”

The most recent data collected by CCPD shows that 45 percent of students who responded to a survey after the fall 2018 Career Fair received at least 1-2 job or internship offers.

Burton is proud of the growth he’s seen over the years through the biannual event.

“It’s nice to have those types of opportunities that may not have otherwise happened had the student not attended the Career Fair,” he said. “I would encourage students to look at the list of who’s coming, visit their Web site and prepare ahead of time.”