UAA Spring Career Fair: What to know

The Career Fair will have many employers who are ready to speak to and network with students.

Students mingle with employers at the 2022 Fall Career Fair. Photo by Dylan Flos.

The UAA Spring Career Fair kicks off in March at the Student Union. The first day – March 5 – will be the “STEM Career Fair” and the following day – March 6 – will be the “Business, Health and Liberal Arts Career Fair.” The fair is scheduled for 1-5 p.m. both days.

In an interview with The Northern Light, Career Development Coordinator Mike Detmer said that UAA Career Services puts on the Spring Career Fair to give students the opportunity to speak with employers who are actively seeking out UAA students.

Detmer said that the reason for a two-day career fair is to make it easier for students to speak with employers in their desired field. Having a separate STEM-focused day will help students narrow down which employers they should speak with.

There are strategies that students can follow when preparing to speak with employers at the fair. These include doing research beforehand, dressing nice and bringing resume copies. Students can use Career Services to help “fine tune and polish” their resumes, Detmer said.

Taking steps to go the extra mile can help a student stand out and ease some of the nervousness that can be associated with speaking to a potential employer. While there is no specific dress code, Detmer said students are encouraged to “dress to impress.” However, “all students are welcome,” whether they are professionally dressed or not.

Researching an employer can be done in many ways. “Research a company’s mission statement … and if they were in the news recently for a positive reason,” said Detmer. These topics can be good icebreakers for conversations with an employer.

Detmer recommends that students use Handshake – which, according to the Career Services website – “is the University of Alaska’s career management platform for students and alumni.”

A list of attending employers is available on Handshake and students can use the website to create personal profiles that employers can view. These profiles can include such things as resumes and information about a student’s educational history.

In addition to speaking with employers, students will have the opportunity to get professional headshots taken from 1- 3 p.m. both days.

Detmer said that he does not want students to “hit the panic button” when finishing up their degree. He said that it is good to speak with employers sooner rather than later, and having one-on-one interactions with potential employers is an invaluable experience in today's hiring process.

Students “shouldn't be scared of” the fair, said Detmer. It is an “investment in your future.”