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      Career Showcase

      College of Arts & Sciences’ First Career Showcase Flips the Traditional Format

      By Emma Irving, English ‘18

      career fair

      Career Showcase

      Students in the College of Arts & Sciences participate in a flipped career fair format in which they showed employers their posters, video highlight reels, arts and more.

      When Director of Career Design and Development Janet Long approached me with the opportunity to help organize the first ever career fair specifically for students in the College of Arts & Sciences, I jumped at the chance to help plan.

      As we began planning the Career Showcase, we knew we had to challenge the traditional format for a career fair. The College of Arts & Sciences houses majors as diverse as fine arts to criminal justice to biochemistry, so determining what types of employers to invite to the career fair was our first challenge.

      Our second challenge was conveying to employers the rich experiences, experiential learning, and impactful research that students receive in the College of Arts & Sciences.

      Though a resume can give a solid overview of a student's achievements, it cannot fully capture the detailed research, community collaboration, and visual effort that goes into projects from video highlight reels to posters for conference presentations.

      career fair

      College of Arts & Sciences

      Interim Dean Scott Van Bramer and Director of Career Design and Development Janet Long talk at the Career Showcase on April 5.

      Because of these factors, Career Design and Development and the college decided to flip the traditional career fair format on April 5. Instead of filling Lathem Hall with rows of tabling employers for students to visit, students set up shop in the middle with their research posters, video highlight reels, original works of art, and more, and let the employers come to them.

      While employers did maintain tables around the edge of the room with their own materials, they were encouraged to visit student tables and engage with the projects.

      I witnessed firsthand the impact of this new format. I displayed first-draft copies of broadside posters that I'm working on in my senior praxis class with Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing Jayne Thompson.

      We're asking women to respond to this quote from the poem "Kathe Kollwitz" by Muriel Rukeyser: "What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open," in poetry, visual art, or short-form prose. Their writings will be printed on broadside posters and displayed across Chester as a public art installation. As I talked to employers from chemical companies, state governments, and non-profit education organizations, I was astounded by the genuine amount of care these diverse employers displayed toward my project.

      Students in the College of Arts & Sciences represent a vast array of majors, ideas and interests at Widener. By flipping a traditional career fair into something more personal and expressive, I know we gave students a way to shine in the ways they know best.

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