Career Expo Goes Virtual

The annual Career Expo is the largest job and internship event on the Providence Campus each year. With more than 160 employers set to attend the 2020 Career Expo this past March, students were geared up for their chance to make connections and turn their hard work in the classroom into a career.

But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., it forced JWU to make the tough decision to close campus for the safety of its students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Along with this decision, the Career Expo was cancelled — at least in its usual format. Replacing the familiar table displays and handshakes was a completely online forum.

JWU EE&CS Virtual Job Fair Invite

“This opens us up to the possibility of a universitywide career fair.”

“It takes months and months to plan one of these in-person fairs,” said Dean of Experiential Education & Career Services Sheri Young, Ed.D. “But basically we did all of that in two weeks to get that up and running.”

In order to prepare for the change of format, JWU began offering daily Skype sessions to teach the students the ins and outs of the new platform. “It gave the students the opportunity to walk through what the event was going to be like and gave them guidance on how to best prepare for the fair,” Young explained.

On the day of the expo, students entered queues and chatted with company representatives in real time. Replacing their printed resumes were uploaded copies that the representatives could view during the discussion.

“The cool thing that was happening was that some employers were asking the students to participate in independent virtual interviews whether it was that day or in the near future,” Young said.

In total, 377 students and 60 employers attended the virtual career fair, a number that Young is very proud of. “We’re very pleased with that level of engagement with the students because it was still a trying time.”

Now, Young hopes that the new virtual career fair will give way to opportunity for even more students to participate in the future. “This opens us up to the possibility of a universitywide career fair through which all JWU students can attend, no matter which campus they belong to.”


JWU EE&CS Virtual Job Fair Dashboard