Career Fair remains inaccessible to students

Brandi Doyal, Views Editor

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The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

Schools across New Orleans host an annual career fair to allow students to network with employers for internships and job opportunities, but the strict time window severely limits the number of students who can attend. The career fair, which was held from 12-4 p.m. Oct. 2 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, hosted students from both Tulane University and Loyola University New Orleans.  

Director of Career Services Barry Thompson said the career center tries to find a middle ground between employers’ and students’ availability. He said employers often do not like to stay longer than three or four hours at events like these, which makes it hard for students to work around class times to attend.

Though attendance at these events is high, many students who expressed the desire to go were unable to go because of work conflicts or classes that teachers would not excuse them from. 

The importance of internships and networking to students’ futures cannot be understated. It is rare that such a gathering of credible employers meets in one location and is there just to offer opportunities to students. Thompson said teachers have always taken different standpoints on whether or not to allow their students out of class for the fair. While students attend the university to learn, the classroom should not be a roadblock when setting up the framework for future opportunities.

Two ways to expand the accessibility of the career fair include requiring teachers to accept the absence as excused with proof of attendance or simply expanding the career fair hours.

Making the event longer would certainly benefit students, who are the main focus of the career fair. Expanding the fair’s hours by creating two or three time slots employers could choose from to come speak to students would be an effective way to increase attendance. This way, employers would have more flexibility in choosing when they could attend, and students, while they may not be able to meet their ideal employer, would still have the opportunity to network. While Thompson said the career center is open to hearing ideas, something needs to be done to expand the accessibility and efficiency of Tulane’s networking events. 

Brandi Doyal is a sophomore in the Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached for comment at [email protected]