Representatives set up booths and disseminated useful information to Bennett Belles during the 2018 Career & Internship Fair on Friday, Oct. 5, inside the Global Learning Center! Bennett students started filing in the GLC around 11 a.m. to take advantage of the opportunity to try to line up jobs and internships at the Fair, which lasted until early afternoon.
Darryl K. Johnson, director of the Office of Career Services, organized the Career & Internship Fair when he arrived at Bennett five years ago. He made his rounds throughout the day ensuring guests had a quality experience, while pointing students in the right direction. Johnson encourages students of all classifications to attend the event, as he recognizes it’s never too early to start planning a career.
“You expect to find juniors and seniors at career fairs; however, I’m always happy when sophomores and freshwomen show up for this,” Johnson said. “Nowadays, it’s imperative for students to have paid or non-paid internships and a clear idea of their career aspirations when they graduate. What better year to start making that connection with recruiters than your first year in college? I commend the students who stopped by the Career Fair for understanding the importance of networking with recruiters, and for bringing their resumes and portfolios with them.”
Lecia Marsh, a talent acquisition manager from Cone Health, has come to Bennett several times and serves on the Corporate Advisory Board that Johnson created to maintain a focus with Fortune 500 corporations’ rapid changes in the economy and workplace. The board also strives to educate students on the competency skills that employers demand.
“I love what you guys have going on here as far as really trying to develop the students into young leaders,” Marsh said.
Freshwoman Michaela Zeno attended her inaugural Career Fair on Oct. 5. “I’m actually an undecided major, so I was looking for something that would maybe catch my eye, that maybe I could consider as my major,” Zeno said, before touring all of the booths. In the end, she turned in two preliminary internship applications. “It was great. I learned that there are a lot of internships out there and that they’re looking for hardworking Belles.”
Junior Alexis Owens was excited to see representatives for educational organizations, as well as the number of opportunities they offered. “I’m really excited to see all of these people coming to support Bennett,” she said, adding that the professionally dressed students “looked amazing.”
Ryan Shuping attended the Career Fair and discussed a new Guilford County Schools program to certify teachers from all disciplines – the first such lateral entry program in North Carolina. “It was exciting meeting some psychology majors, biology majors and journalism and media majors and to just open their eyes to the idea that they could be a teacher if they wanted to,” he said.
Oct. 5 culminated with the students beginning Fall Break. Some left for off-campus destinations while others opted to stay on campus and catch up on some rest. By the looks of things, Bennett students should now have a renewed sense of purpose and opportunity because of their participation in the Career & Internship Fair.
Laurie D. Willis contributed to this article