Meet the Firms, a career fair held twice each year to bring recruiters and students together for networking, took place October 11 in the Collegedale Church atrium and fellowship hall. The schools of Business and Management, Computing, Journalism and Communication, and Nursing sponsor the event along with the English and Alumni Relations departments. Students of all majors, and graduates with any degree, are invited to participate.
“In this job market, we want to offer students a better chance to find internships and career opportunities through networking,” said Janita Herod, office manager in the School of Journalism and Communication. “This fair gives students the experience of introducing themselves and getting comfortable talking about a job.”
For this year’s Meet the Firms, organizers reached out to more Chattanooga-area businesses. According to Lisa Kuhlman, office manager for the School of Business and Management, part of the selection criteria for Southern included looking for employers that have built a strong reputation in the community. Some of the organizations present included Aflac, the Georgia Cumberland Conference, Gordon Hospital, Life Care Centers of America, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga, and WTVC, the local ABC television affiliate.
“A lot of businesses registered because we have built long-standing relationships with them,” Kuhlman said. “They love the quality of our students and that’s why they come back year after year.”
Success stories like those of Paul Hoover, ’04, are the rule, and not the exception.
“I was able to secure an internship and subsequent job with the same company the following year,” Hoover said. “Meet the Firms was very helpful!”
Each semester the School of Business and Management teaches a class, Preparing to Meet the Firms, which helps students of all majors become more comfortable with networking, business luncheons, and interviews—skills that are immediately put to the test. Those enrolled in the schools of Business and Management and Journalism and Communication also had the chance to sign up for personal interviews with recruiters from Adventist Health Systems, the General Conference Auditing Service, and, for the first time, Loma Linda Medical Center.
“I think it’s great Southern had these national Adventist organizations come to campus because it gives students the opportunity to interview without needing to travel all across the country,” said Kayce Foote, senior public relations and business administration major. “This is one of the ways Southern provides the tools we need to move forward in our careers.”
The next Meet the Firms event will be held February 21, the same day as the annual Health Career Fair.