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MTSU students are ‘all business’ at 2016 BEST Career Fair

Dozens of MTSU students again took advantage of an opportunity to make sell themselves to potential future employers at the Business Exchange for Student Talent, or BEST, Career Fair held recently in the Student Union Ballroom.

Sponsored by faculty in the management and marketing departments in the Jones College of Business, BEST takes on a “speed networking” format in which groups of students meet with employment recruiters stationed at tables throughout the ballroom. After a 15-minute exchange, students move to another table.

MTSU senior Anthony Juarez, left, talks with Shane Martinez of Total Quality Logistics during the BEST Career Fair March 15 in the the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU senior Anthony Juarez, left, talks with Shane Martinez of Total Quality Logistics during the BEST Career Fair March 15 in the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Laura Buckner

Laura Buckner

Marketing professor and internship coordinator Laura Buckner said that since the primary purpose of BEST is to help students get full-time jobs, students are strongly encouraged to research the participating employers beforehand and come to the fair prepared to ask and answer questions.

The three-hour fair is geared toward students majoring in marketing, business administration, management and entrepreneurship within the Jones College, although other students can also attend.

Participating companies were hiring for positions such as entry-level marketing, sales, logistics, retail and management professionals. Internships were also available.

“It cuts across a lot of disciplines,” Buckner said. “And we’ve gotten good feedback from the employers. … This was a good event for us.”

Among the 100-plus students attending this spring’s event was Kaytlin Culpepper, a senior marketing major from Cleveland, Tennessee, who’s graduating in May.

Culpepper said she’s attended two other career fairs on campus and felt they helped her better prepare for this one. While she still felt nervous when she sat down at her first table, she admitted that those butterflies soon gave way to growing confidence and a determination to connect with the right company to help launch her marketing career.

Culpepper came equipped with copies of her resume and a belief that MTSU had properly prepared her to land a job with one of the 31 companies attending the fair, ranging from Verizon to Aflac to Cavalry Logistics.

Jones College of Business logo-updated“I think I’ve come out of this with three pretty strong (job) opportunities,” said Culpepper, who is currently interning with a web marketing company. “Graduating in May, I felt like I needed to go and get more of those connections and relationships.”

In addition to attending BEST looking for talent, Dale Carnegie Training of Tennessee has an even stronger tie to MTSU. The university entered into an exclusive partnership with the corporate development firm that requires all Jones College graduate and undergraduate students to take a Dale Carnegie course for credit before obtaining their degree.

On career fair day, the company was also seeking qualified job seekers and brought an alumnus to campus to help.

Andrew George, a May 2015 graduate and former student body president, said he was thrilled to come back to his alma mater as marketing coordinator for Dale Carnegie of Tennessee. He was recruiting candidates for inside sales positions.

“It was awesome to see candidates … put their best feet forward,” he said.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU students visit the recruiting tables of the 31 companies who participated in the March 15 Business Exchange for Student Talent, or BEST, Career Fair held in the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU students visit the recruiting tables of the 31 companies who participated in the March 15 Business Exchange for Student Talent, or BEST, Career Fair held in the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)