Record-Setting Fall Internship & Career Expo

The expo’s tally: 446 students discussed jobs with 64 employers.

Last October, Stetson’s Fall Internship & Career Expo set an all-time attendance mark, with 390 students showing up to network.

This year’s attendance was even greater, as 446 students met with 64 employers on Oct. 25 at the Hollis Center’s Rinker Fieldhouse.

“We’re real pleased that students see the value in the expo and appreciate the breadth of employers that are there to bring out a wide swath of students,” commented Tim Stiles, executive director of Stetson’s Office of Career and Professional Development.

The event was open to all Stetson students. And, in fact, each class year was well-represented, particularly first-year students and sophomores — a move Stiles had highly recommended leading up to the event.

“We had a good turnout from that group, which helped to boost our numbers. Hopefully, they begin to understand that this whole idea of making contacts earlier on in their college careers will pay off later on, even if it doesn’t pay off immediately,” Stiles said.

Employers spanned nearly an A-to-Z range, from AdventHealth and Charles Schwab (investing) to Lake County Schools and LightWork Software to The NASCAR Foundation and Withum (accounting). Notably, participating sponsors included Bankers Life; Batts Morrison Wales & Lee, P.A.; Brown & Brown; GellerRagans; James Moore & Co.; PSAV; and SEI.

Newell Brands is emblematic of the companies seeking top entry-level talent. Pictured are Michaela Mantaro (left) and Megan Kitzmiller, assistant marketing managers.

Numerous employers, finding success with Stetson students, returned from previous years. In addition, among the first-time companies was Newell Brands, which encompasses popular product lines such as Elmer’s, Paper Mate, Yankee Candle and Rubbermaid.

After rethinking its approach to building an entry-level sales force, Newell executives had visited the campus and concluded that “Stetson seems to really fit where we want to go,” according to Stiles.

“Obviously, attracting a company like Newell has a great impact on Stetson. People can see where our students are successfully transitioning,” he added.

The big winners, of course, are students who on this day became prospective new hires. And their work isn’t done.

“For those who attended, I really encourage them to follow up with employers,” said Stiles, who pointed to the HattersJob app, which contains employer contact information. “… Students can email directly from the app. That’s just a nice way to follow up with somebody and say, ‘I really appreciate your time, and I want to stay in touch with you.’ Hopefully, that little extra nudge the student gives the employer will make an impression and result in an interview.”

Also, for students who didn’t attend, not all is lost. There still are opportunities to engage with the employers through the HattersJob app, as well as HatterJobs website. “Those students can reach out employers and say they couldn’t make [the event], but ‘I’d love to talk to you more about this,’” Stiles said.

-Michael Candelaria