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MTSU ‘BEST’ career fair draws 160 students, 40 employers (+VIDEO)

About 160 MTSU business majors donned business attire and brought their best elevator pitches to special career fair that drew 40 employers looking to recruit new hires and interns.

The Business Exchange for Student Talent, also known as BEST, hosted the career fair Wednesday, April 15, in the Student Union Ballroom. Sponsored by faculty in the Department of Management and Marketing in the Jones College of Business, the “speed networking” event allowed students to conduct short interviews with employers in small groups before moving on to the next table.

Dressed in a nice navy blue business suit and resume in hand, senior marketing major Brittney Potts of Summertown, Tennessee, left the fair without the internship she wanted, but satisfied that she had gotten on the professional radar of several companies in attendance.

“I was really looking to go in for an internship opportunity, and I found out a lot of companies were looking,” Potts said. “It was my first career fair, so it was kind of nerve-racking, but I handed my resume out to a lot of people. … I have a few that I think I’ll get a callback from.”

MTSU junior Cody Wilson, right, talks with Pam Stephens, left, and Julie Darnell, center, of Wegmann Automotive USA Inc. during the BEST Career Fair in the Student Union Ballroom Wednesday, April 15. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU junior Cody Wilson, right, talks with Pam Stephens, left, and Julie Darnell, center, of Wegmann Automotive USA Inc. during the BEST Career Fair in the Student Union Ballroom Wednesday, April 15. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Potts said that for future career fairs she’ll research the companies a bit more beforehand, “that way I’ll know which companies would be a better fit for me.”

Employers on hand represented a wide variety of industries, ranging from AFLAC to The Hershey Co. and from Waffle House to Waste Management. Full-time positions and internships in the fields of marketing, management and sales were available.

Souk Wisithaphong, a recruiter for convenience store chain Speedway LLC in Smyrna, Tennessee, said she was searching for candidates for the company’s leadership and internship programs.

“I found a lot of good candidates here,” she said. “I look forward to getting in touch them … and hopefully start scheduling some interviews.”

BEST fair logo-cropThat’s just the sort activity organizers craved.

“Employers have (given) fantastic feedback about the event, not only the number of students that they’ve seen, but the quality of preparedness,” said Laura Bucker, an instructor in the Department of Management and Marketing and one of the fair organizers. “They see that students are serious minded and ready to start their careers.”

Marketing major Malik Stoudemire, a sophomore from Chattanooga, Tennessee, hasn’t yet decided his specific career path, but used his experience at the career fair to build the necessary interviewing skills to land that dream job upon graduation.

“I got a lot of tips on how to network and building relationships,” he said. “This was my first fair, and I feel that the next one I go to I’ll be more prepared.

For more information about the event, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/career/best.php.

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