Career fair: Good for some, not so much for others

By: Panther Staff
Sep 26, 2017

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InterContinental Hotels Group employee Barbara Smith gives knowledge  about the real world to sophomores Kyelali Warren, Kamari Frost and Denisha Duck. (Panther photo by Kyhree Gray)


Claflin University held a career fair on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, with students mixed in their opinions about the variety of recruiters on hand for the event.

From 9 a.m. to noon, students browsed through the 51 recruiters at Tullis Arena of the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center.  Some said there was not enough variety in the fields being offered.

“As a computer science major, there really wasn’t much for me, and as an international student, I had even fewer options,” Agbai Okoronkwo, a senior who searched for internships in his field, said.

The U.S. Secret Service and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions LLC offered internship opportunities for computer science majors but these are limited to only U.S. citizens.

Shadé Young, a senior majoring in mass communications, said options for students were limited. Young was also a recruiter working with WOCS 93.7, a local radio station.

Another option for mass communication students was ABC Columbia. The television station offered internship opportunities in its news department for juniors and seniors.

The coordinator of the event, Latasha Salley, said the goal of the occasion was to help students find internships, co-ops and employment opportunities.

“The intention behind the career fair was just to expose students to different employers,” Salley said.

Salley encouraged students to constructively discuss their opinions with school officials. “I’m definitely open to all types of feedback.”

But not all students were unhappy with the number and variation of recruiters.

“Honestly I think that was a lot,” Dynesha Wilson, a first-year business major, said. “If you’re a junior or senior, you are guaranteed to get an internship.”

Wilson said she spoke with recruiters from Palmetto Citizen Federal Credit Union, Travelers Insurance Agency and Aflac.

HaQuasha Terry, a senior college recruiter working with Aflac, said the insurance company is looking to work with rising juniors and seniors as interns. This seemed to be the trend as organizations like Walgreens and U.S. Navy Medicine, among many, also required prospective interns to be juniors or seniors.

Still, there were agencies that had less rigid criteria that included all or most majors at any collegiate level.

“Really any major can apply for this,” said Sarah Sturtevant, an operations specialist at the South Carolina Department of Park, Recreation and Tourism. “They just have to start part-time.”

As incentive, some companies offered bonus monthly stipends or debt forgiveness.

To supplement the career fair, Latasha Salley said the university will host workshops to help students build their skills. “Students can talk directly with recruiters and talk about preparations for mock interviews,” she said.

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(Panther photo by Preston Walker)

‘Great choice of variety for students’


The Jonas Thomas Kennedy gym was filled with 53 different companies and students for the Fall Career Fair at Claflin University. 

The event gave students a chance to talk to different companies that coincide with their majors and what they want to do. Many students walked around to different companies to get a better understanding about what jobs include. 

Diamond Brown, a criminal justice major, said, “The career fair has a great choice of variety for students.”

A couple of her top companies at the fair were the Trio Program and the U.S. Secret Service.

Pennshelia Griffin was impressed with the opportunities the companies offered. “It is a lot of opportunities here like internships and job shadowing,” she said. 

John Kray works for Travelers Insurance Co. He was at the fair to give students insight on what his job includes and what the company offers.

“We start our internships for students starting sophomore year hoping to hire them after they graduate,” Kray said. 

“We have a wealth of different opportunities for virtually any type of major,” Kray said. He stressed that students understand the companies by researching the different opportunities. 

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The Orangeburg County Disabilities and Special Needs Board looked for students wanting to do internships or volunteer for community service. (Panther photo by Jasminn T. Dow)

Sweetening the table for recruits


Fifty-four companies came from all over South Carolina to recruit students for internships and jobs on Sept. 21, 2017, at the Claflin’s career fair.

With cookies and applications for the taking on its table, McDonald’s attracted students. Next to the cookies was a brochure with all the benefits of working with the company.

“We want this to be the best first job,” Lisa D. Main, owner/operator, said.

Some of the benefits as a working student include flexible hours, 20 hours a week and $1,700 after nine months. Students can gain skills like dependability and teamwork to use post-graduation.

“Studying comes first,” Main said.

Across the aisle, the Orangeburg County Disabilities and Special Needs Board looked for students wanting to do internships or volunteer for community service. OCDSNB helps people with head and spinal traumas, intellectual disabilities and autism transition from high school to the workforce.

“We also hire on site,” Laura Cooper-Davis, director of quality assurance, said.

On the table, there were a variety of homemade air-fresheners and fragrance sprays. Both can be used in the house and car.

“They are made by our clients,” Cooper-Davis said.

OCDSNB covers 50 locations across Orangeburg County. It receives many South Carolina State and OCtech students for volunteer work and community service every year.

“I’m a Claflin graduate too,” Cooper-Davis said. “I’m looking to recruit more Claflin students.”


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Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated members helped freshman with ticket signing at the career fair. (Panther photo by Jenell Green)

Lots for pharmacy-related majors


Claflin students and prospective employers gathered in the Jonas T. Kennedy gym for the annual Fall Career Fair on Sept. 21.

Agencies at this year’s career fair included Aflac, the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, Blackbaud, ABC Columbia (WOLO-TV), Geico, Walgreens and many others.

 Andrew Davis, a junior human performance and recreation major, visited a great selection of tables: S.C. State Park Service, Medical University of South Carolina and the Regional Medical Center

“There were a lot of tables for pharmacy-related majors and even some tables for mass communications majors,” Davis said.

Teaira Guilford, a sophomore at South Carolina State University, was helping at the WOSC 93.7 radio station’s table.

“There were a few students walking around, but for the most part, most of the people were the agencies. It’s still early though, so more students will show up,” Guilford said.

Shaquilla Hicks, a junior, said the career fair is a great chance for students to get information and opportunities.

“There are plenty of tables this year, unlike my freshman year,” Hicks said.

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Senior management major Malik Griffith talks to an Aflac representative at the Claflin Career Fair on Thursday. (Panther photo by Bradley Harris)

It depends on the major …


Thursday was a time for Claflin students to jump start their careers at the Fall Career Fest.

Students entered Tullis Arena in business attire, resumes in hand, seeking an opportunity to begin their careers. With more than 45 companies in attendance, there was plenty of opportunity for some students, and not as much for others.

 “I talked to four different companies, and all them gave me positive feedback,” sophomore business major Destiny Sumter said.

“One company really liked my resume and they said I would have an interview within the next week. I was pleased to hear that,” Sumter said.

But not all students had success. A lack of companies specific to certain majors disadvantaged some students.

 “I was able to talk to a few companies in my field, and I felt successful in my interaction with them,” senior marketing major Raven Strong said.

“But I did notice that there were not opportunities for every major,” Strong said. “There were only a few companies for mass comm majors.”

“Hopefully, they will have more for all majors in the future,” Strong said.

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Claflin University students take advantage of the possible career opportunities at the Career Fair on Thursday. (Panther photo by Bradley Harris)

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Sophomore Sandrea Tanksley talks to a vender about career opportunities. (Panther photo by Cody Dallas)

Lots of freshmen, sophomores


On Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, Claflin University hosted its annual career fair at the Jonas T. Kennedy Center.

Hundreds of students gathered inside the gymnasium to learn about job and internship opportunities. There were more than 50 organizations represented at the fest, including ABC Columbia and the FBI. Students were also exposed to the U.S. military scholarships.

Most of the attendees were freshmen and sophomores because their attendance was required. Students who were enrolled in the Assembly 201 or University 101 courses were required to dress professionally and provide several copies of their resume.

Although the career fair had great intentions, some areas of study were underrepresented, sophomore Lauren Everett said.

“The career fest did not have many opportunities for political science majors,” Everett said.

“Yeah, everything focused more on business and criminal justice majors,” sophomore Taylor Benjamin said.

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Claflin University students discussing how to be visionary leaders in their future. (Panther photo by Kierra Felder)

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Recruiter HaQuasha Terry of AFLAC is showing some interest in sophomore Damion McKnight to join her team. (Panther photo by Kyhree Gray)

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Claflin University kicks off their annual Career Fest beginning with the first career table, “Navy Medicine." (Panther photo by Kayla Cato)

Navy offers opportunities, recruiter says


On Thursday, Sept. 22, 2017, Claflin University held the fall career fest offering students the opportunity to interact and connect with potential internship possibilities and employers.

Miles Springs, a sophomore, arrived in business attire in hopes of obtaining a professional internship.

“I’m enjoying the career fest pretty well. Every time I go to a different table I’m a little unsure on how to approach them, but they really try to help you and get you into internships, jobs,” Springs said.

“The people that don’t come should come,” Springs said.

Greg Thompson, the new Navy recruiter for South Carolina, was covers all the universities and recruits for the engineering program. Dressed in full Navy attire and pinned with various awards, he addressed what he wanted from the Claflin event.

 “To be able to let students know that resources and benefits are offered to give the opportunity of a great-paying job in engineering while attending school.

“We actually do pay students full salary while they’re in college,” Thompson said.

“This is a great way to serve the community, serve the Navy and the country at the same time.”

A few other companies in attendance were McDonald’s, ABC Columbia, WOCS 93.7 The People’s Station, Aflac and Geico.

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Students and teachers alike converse as they try to get more insight on this year's career fest at Claflin University. (Panther photo by Kayla Cato)

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(Panther photo by Preston Walker)

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Students and faculty gather together asking questions to various businesses that participated at the Claflin University career fair. (Panther photo by Jennell Green)

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(Panther photo by Nyquasia C. Murray)

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(Panther photo by Nyquasia C. Murray)

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(Panther photo by Rosalee Dozier)

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(Panther photo by Rosalee Dozier)

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Kayla Hodges and Makayla Stormer pose during the career fair. (Panther photo by QuiEra Evans)

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(Panther photo by QuiEra Evans)
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