MURFREESBORO — Dozens of MTSU students again took advantage of an opportunity to make sell themselves to potential future employers at the Business Exchange for Student Talent, or BEST, Career Fair held recently in the Student Union Ballroom.
Sponsored by faculty in the management and marketing departments in the Jones College of Business, BEST takes on a “speed networking” format in which groups of students meet with employment recruiters stationed at tables throughout the ballroom. After a 15-minute exchange, students move to another table.
Marketing professor and internship coordinator Laura Buckner said that since the primary purpose of BEST is to help students get full-time jobs, students are strongly encouraged to research the participating employers beforehand so that they come to the fair well prepared to ask and answer questions.
The three-hour fair is geared toward students majoring in marketing, business administration, management and entrepreneurship within Jones College, although other students can also attend. Participating companies were hiring for positions such as entry-level marketing, sales, logistics, retail and management professionals. Internships were also available.
“It cuts across a lot of disciplines,” Buckner said. “And we’ve gotten good feedback from the employers. … This was a good event for us.”
Among the 100-plus students attending March 15 event was Kaytlin Culpepper, a senior marketing major from Cleveland, Tennessee, who’s graduating in May.
Culpepper said she’s previously attended two other career fairs on campus and felt they helped her better prepare for this one. While there were still some nerves at first when she sat down at her first table, those butterflies soon gave way to growing confidence and a determination to connect with the right company to help launch her marketing career.
Culpepper came equipped with copies of her resume and a belief that MTSU had properly prepared her to land a job with one of the 31 companies attending the fair, ranging from Verizon to Aflac to Cavalry Logistics.
“I think I’ve come out of this with three pretty strong (job) opportunities,” said Culpepper, who is currently interning with a web marketing company. “Graduating in May, I felt like I needed to go and get more of those connections and relationships.”
In addition to attending BEST looking for talent, Dale Carnegie Training of Tennessee has an even stronger tie to MTSU. The university entered into an exclusive partnership with the corporate development firm that requires all Jones College graduate and undergraduate students to take a Dale Carnegie course for credit before obtaining their degree.
On this day, the company was also seeking qualified job seekers, and it was an alumnus returning to campus to facilitate that process.
Andrew George, a May 2015 graduate and former student body president, was thrilled to come back to his alma mater as marketing coordinator for Dale Carnegie of Tennessee. He was recruiting candidates for inside sales positions.
“It was awesome to see candidates … put their best feet forward,” he said.