By Emmanuel Freeman
NASHVILLE, TN (TSU News Services) – Hundreds of Tennessee State University students looking for internship, full-time employment, or collaboration opportunities recently had a wide choice at the university’s first personal careers fair since the pandemic.
More than 140 companies and potential employers came together on September 17th on the main campus for the autumn career fair 2021. Representatives from government agencies, aerospace, banking, engineering, healthcare, and entertainment put tents, tables, and displays in the Gentry Center Complex to network with students about career and employment opportunities.
The organizers said that nearly 700 students attended the all-day fair.
Katana Darby, Senior Business Administration Major; and Shaun Wimberly, a sophomore agribusiness degree, were among the first students at the show. Both were looking for internships. But Darby, who is graduating in May, was also looking for a full-time position. She thought her chances were good.
“The employers were really good, informative, and responsive to my questions,” said the Chicago native, who spoke to representatives from Cintas, a Cincinnati-based service company. She is looking for a job in human resources or a related field.
“I came to the careers fair looking for open positions – internships, full-time and part-time positions – and things are looking very good,” said Darby.
Wimberly of Louisville, Kentucky, who was also looking for opportunities in interpersonal relationships or any other area that could use his farming background, found it particularly exciting to meet employers in person.
“I’m excited to meet people face-to-face at my very first career fair at TSU,” he said. “I was able to network with employers to discuss how I can best contribute to their organizations.”
Wimberly and Darby may just be lucky.
Danita J. Jones, a 1991 TSU graduate and recruiter and business graduate with the US Army Corps of Engineers, said she came to the careers fair with a job posting for “someone with good communication skills.”
“I’m looking for business, business, human resources students – someone to lead our district education program,” said Jones, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business from TSU and joined the Army Corps of Engineers as a student assistant.
Overall, employers said that TSU students – in dark business suits and black shoes – were prepared and very impressive in looks, approach and presentation.
Antoinette Hargrove Duke, director of TSU’s Career Development Center, said there goes a lot in preparing students for the career fair, including writing résumés and preparing for interviews.
“We’re happy that this shows because employers are talking about voter turnout and how ready our students are,” said Duke. “We are also very pleased to have the opportunity to return to campus after 15 months of virtual presence. The enthusiasm among our campus and university partners is unbelievable. ”
Kisa Caruthers, Senior Electrical Engineer for Global Facilities at Burns & McDonnell, was at the show as a recruiter for the huge engineering and construction company. The TSU graduate said her company was keen to hire minority students in particular.
“Our goal is to get students who can take all of these basics out of the classroom and actually apply them to them, and introduce our minority students to the real life of engineering,” said Caruthers. “We’re talking about internships, opportunities for cooperation and full employment. The students today are phenomenal. They came very prepared. I’m very proud of her.”
Main sponsors of the careers fair included Cigna, Berry Global, Inc., LG&E and KU Energy, Pathways Camelot Care Centers of Tennessee, and Smith & Nephew Supply Chain.
Further information on the TSU Career Services Department can be found at https://www.tnstate.edu/careers/