Students Meet Future Employers at Career Fair

Arkansas Tech University business student Heather Burns is only a junior, but she is already making plans for her career after graduation.

Arkansas Tech University business student Heather Burns is only a junior, but she is already making plans for her career after graduation.  Burns was among more than 150 Arkansas Tech students in attendance at the 18th annual Business, Industry and Government (B.I.G.) Career Fair hosted by the Arkansas Tech Norman Career Services office on Wednesday morning. “I tried to calm my nerves a little bit before I came to the career fair,” said Burns, a management and marketing major from Bigelow. “It is nerve wracking, but this event is a big help because it gets you used to talking with employers. At first I was hesitant, but once today is done I’ll have a good idea of what jobs are available and what companies are looking for.” More than 50 exhibitors presented Arkansas Tech students with information about career and graduate school opportunities that will exist after they complete their baccalaureate degrees. One of the companies on hand was Arkansas Best Corporation. “We’re looking for students who are really prepared to talk about what their experience has been and what they are looking for in their future,” said Ashley Ellis, corporate recruiter for Arkansas Best Corporation and an alumna of Arkansas Tech. “We want to know what their major is, how prepared they are in terms of their resume and what they hope to do when they graduate.” Ellis said that she typically visits with 50 or more potential employees during a typical career fair, and there are ways that individuals can make themselves more memorable — and thus more likely to become employed. “You have to set yourself apart,” said Ellis. “Specifically, a lot of companies are like ours and looking for sales. You have to be that dynamic personality. Otherwise, you’re just going to blend into the crowd.” This year’s B.I.G. Career Fair was hosted in the W.O. Young Student Center Ballroom rather than Chambers Cafeteria East Banquet Hall, which allowed the Arkansas Tech Norman Career Services office to accommodate more exhibitors. Personnel from career services also provided Arkansas Tech students with opportunities to brush up on their skills in advance of Wednesday’s event. “We talked to them about resume building, cover letter writing, professional dress and networking opportunities,” said Ray Moll, associate dean for student success at Arkansas Tech. “We held three professional development workshops that covered those topics. We had more than 100 students at each of those sessions, and that is represented by the turnout for the career fair.” For more information about Arkansas Tech Norman Career Services, visit or contact Dana Florian, director of career services, at (479) 356-6206 or

View more photographs from the 2012 B.I.G. Career Fair.

Photographed Above: Arkansas Tech senior Blake Mitchem visits with a representative from Hewlett-Packard during the 2012 B.I.G. Career Fair.