Annual UW-Eau Claire spring career fair continued virtually

From internships to careers, there is something for every student at career fairs

More stories from Amira Lunderville



Prior to COVID-19, each career fair was held in-person in Davies, Heidke said. Due to the pandemic, the spring career was completely virtual.

The annual spring career fair at UW-Eau Claire gathered once again to bring employers and students together for internships and potential career paths.

Melody Manteufel, outreach counselor in the Advising, Retention and Career Center and event coordinator, said the UW-Eau Claire Career Services team hosts the career fairs and partners with multiple departments across campus to promote the event.

The career fairs connect UW-Eau Claire’s students with different employers who wish to recruit Blugolds for internships and full-time positions that require or prefer a bachelor’s degree, Manteufel said.

“Students learn directly from organizations who may be hiring right away or in the future,” Manteufel said. “Employers attend because they are familiar with the skillsets UWEC graduates gain in the classroom like critical thinking, communication and teamwork.”

Hundreds of students attend the career fair each semester to meet employers from all industries and sizes with ties to Wisconsin and the Midwest, she said. About 110 employers registered for the event this spring.

In preparation for the event, Manteufel said the ARCC has shared materials over email and social media, including a new series of short, two-minute videos on career preparation and follow-up.

“The ARCC has met with students one-on-one, presented to classes and student organizations, held a mock career fair where students could practice joining a virtual fair and get any questions they may have answered and shared information with employers about connecting with Blugolds,” Manteufel said.

Students also had to do their own work in preparation for the event, she said.

“Students had to be sure their Handshake accounts were current with updated profile information and an updated resume,” Manteufel said. “Students could register and sign-up for sessions quickly and easily through Handshake and there were still open spots at the start of the event.”  

Staci Heidke, associate director of Career Services, said students had to research employers, do a self-assessment to see what job or internship they would want post-graduation and assess their own strengths and weaknesses to be able to market themselves to employers.

“Career fairs connect students to careers that are meaningful to them,” Heidke said. “There is a showcase of employers who come to hire them. Life after graduation is really important to think about and the career fair provides opportunities to potentially launch students’ careers.”

Luke Hartman, a fourth-year computer science student, first went to a career fair looking for internships and to learn about what different employers look for.

“Getting to engage with so many passionate and experienced people really helped me boost my confidence and to help me figure out which direction I wanted to take my career,” Hartmann said.

Hartman has since attended several career fairs at UW-Eau Claire, including a virtual one where he got a job, he said.

Even if students are not looking for a job or internship, going to a career fair can be informative and helpful in gaining experience, Hartman said.

Sam Panos, an accounting student, said she earned connections as a first-year at a career fair that helped her get an internship as a third-year.

“I connected with an HR manager who told me about an internship at their company, so I am now an intern and it is the coolest feeling in the world,” Panos said.

Prior to COVID-19, each career fair was held in person in the Davies Student Center, Heidke said. Due to the pandemic, the spring career was completely virtual.

“There was a lot of practice going into using the virtual platforms because we haven’t used them in the past,” Heidke said. “We had to make sure students and employers got their information online faster.”

Although the spring career fair is finished, there is one every semester for all students who are interested, even if the student isn’t looking for an internship or job right away, Panos said.

“It does not matter what year you are,” Panos said. “Freshman to senior — to super senior — all go to the career fair.”

For students who are interested in future career fairs, contact the ARCC at 715-836-3487 or [email protected]

Lunderville can be reached at [email protected].