Feature Story

Preparing Students for the Future

September 30, 2015 – by Julia Stone ’16

Ohio Wesleyan’s annual Career and Grad School Fair helps students prepare for their futures. About 300 students visited with representatives at this year’s event. (Photo by Hannah Wargo ’19)

OWU Hosts Its Largest-Ever Career and Grad School Fair

Ohio Wesleyan’s annual Career and Grad School Fair helps students prepare for their futures. About 300 students visited with representatives at this year’s event. (Photo by Hannah Wargo ’19)

Ohio Wesleyan’s Office of Career Services hosted its largest Career and Grad School Fair ever on Sept. 23, with more than 85 organizations coming to campus.

Approximately 300 OWU students attended the fair, which spilled out of the Benes Rooms and into the nearby Marketplace West dining area in Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.

“The event went very well,” says Leslie Melton, director of career services, noting that the fair continues to grow every year.

“Though there is no empirical data to support the reason for this growth,” Melton says, “one of the resounding responses from employers that we receive regards the quality of our OWU graduates and how they stand out from students at other schools.”

Because of the caliber of the OWU candidates, she says, many employers and graduate school programs come back every year. For example, Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation hired three OWU graduates last year and is still working to place two additional graduates in positions, Melton says.

She believes career and grad school fairs help students engage with the world of work and life after Ohio Wesleyan. Students learn to present themselves professionally as they discover a diverse range of opportunities.

Miranda Dean ’16, an English and Spanish double-major, says it was helpful to practice talking to potential employers. She hopes the employers will remember her better than they would if she had submitted a faceless online application.

“I had a great interaction with the people from Creative Foundations in Delaware,” Dean says. “I had been passing by their storefront for four years and never realized exactly what it is that they do. They were very warm and helpful, and their mission is admirable.”

Dean says she hopes the fair continues to grow, especially with employers looking to hire full-time entry-level workers right after graduation.

Mili Green ’16, an English and international studies double-major, says the fair allowed her see what opportunities were available after graduation.

“What helped me most was going to the wrong table hiring students interested in IT. One of the recruiters was an OWU graduate,” Green says. “It was great talking to her, and I plan on emailing her soon to follow up on the advice she offered for after graduation.”

Evan Guein ’18, a neuroscience and French double-major on the pre-med track, says the fair helped him consider switching majors. At the event, he discussed potential opportunities in the fields of law, business, and international studies, which align well with his interests.

“A representative from Vanderbilt gave an excellent presentation not just on what the school is interested in, but also what the school would do for me and what it did for her,” Guein says.

Melton says the fair is intended to help students identify and explore opportunities.

“These fairs provide exposure for employers, graduate programs, students, and Ohio Wesleyan in general,” Melton says. “We are most interested in providing diverse opportunities that can reach many students with varying majors and interests.”