Once per semester, Ivy Tech Community College of Valparaiso hosts a career and transfer fair for students looking for jobs or hoping to further their education. This semester, they decided to combine the two into one Spooktacular Career Fair and Transfer Day event in the Welcome Center. Seventeen schools and 17 businesses were in attendance, showing off what they have to offer by giving students incentives to visit their tables with free candy and branded trinkets.
As a community college, Ivy Tech and its faculty serve both students and the surrounding community, and the fair reflected this mission. Abi Durojaye, Director of Career Development and Employer Engagement, was one half of the duo who planned and brought the fair together. After a successful fair last year with students hired straight out of the event, they are hoping for more success this Halloween.
“This event was created to pull our community together. People are always looking for work or opportunities to further their education, so we decided to kind of bring these situations into one,” Durojaye said. “Hopefully, we can make some impact. When you tell people that there’s work available or opportunity for more education, people tend to show up.”
Durojaye’s partner in planning the event, Cindi Czapla, Academic Advisor for General Studies and Liberal Arts and Transfer Advocate, wanted to have something that was open to the public where people could see everything that Ivy Tech and the community has to offer.
“It’s important that people have knowledge about what’s out there because you can read all you want online, but when you actually come and talk to somebody, it helps,” Czapla said. “Events like this really help to get the students in touch with the right people when it comes to transferring. Jobwise, we have employers begging to come back every time we have a career fair because they love hiring our students.”
Kevin Barker, Operations Manager at T&B Tube, and Tina Coppinger, Human Resources Generalist at T&B Tube, sought to hire a programmer and CAD designer for a new piece of equipment coming in. The company has been partnering with Ivy Tech for the last three years to hire students who are ready to graduate.
“We’ve been able to draw talent from Ivy Tech, and they’ve also set up specific training courses for us to help our current employees,” Barker said. “The career fairs help put our company out there, and we get to see the potential talent available to us.”
“We’ve met a lot of great people and have already spoken to a recent graduate who fits the position that we’re looking for,” Coppinger said. “We’re hoping to meet some more people, but it’s been great so far.”
One student, Michael Shepherd, didn’t come looking for anything specific, but he said never too early to start looking at potential opportunities, both in education and careers after graduation.
“If you need help and you ask for it, Ivy Tech is really good at taking care of you,” Shepherd said. “This makes me feel like I’m part of something, and it’s good to see opportunities that are out there.”
For more information about Ivy Tech Community College of Valparaiso, visit their website.