By Alexis Clark
NASHVILLE, TN (TSU News Service) — Tennessee State University students were dressed for success for the 2023 Spring Career Fair, hoping to secure employment after graduation. Approximately 750 TSU students attended the event with nearly 200 employers. Students met with potential employers and left with more knowledge about internships and job market opportunities.
Jea’Lon Davis, a senior from Jackson, Mississippi, who is studying health sciences, said he enjoyed speaking with the wide variety of employers, with hopes of career opportunities this Fall post-graduation. “This is a good thing for our students to explore what opportunities are out there,” Davis said. “You never know who you will bump into at these career fairs. This is an opportunity of a lifetime.”
Davis spoke with employers who notified him about summer internships to apply for as he looks forward to becoming a sports nutritionist.
The fair included representatives from government agencies, aerospace, banking, engineering, healthcare, and several other industries. “We had a good turnout of employers who were actively seeking to hire our students for internships and full-time employment,” said Angela Davis, the Assistant Director of the Career Development Center. “We hope that students received opportunities on the spot, as they did last year. We also hope that our freshman that attended had the experience of networking and interviewing with employers in preparation for their sophomore year,” she added.
The students took advantage of meeting employers who set up tables and displays in the Gentry Center Complex to network and showcase career and employment opportunities.
While seniors were there for current career development, freshman like Paradise Jenkins and Emmanuel Coleman stopped by to practice networking skills and gain exposure. “I came because I wanted to see what experience and opportunities I would be able to have in the near future,” Jenkins said, who is a Dallas native studying criminal justice.
Coleman, a business administration major from Detroit, said the career fair can broaden student’s horizons. “It’s important for freshmen to see the opportunities that they can come across even as a first-year student. Even if you don’t get an internship, these companies still see and hear you.”
Bank of America (BOA) was one of several returning employers for the career fair. BOA recently contributed $1 million to the University as part of an initiative to help students finish college and find employment in a competitive workforce.
Dontia Brown, the Vice President of Diversity and Campus Strategy Recruiting for BOA, said it was great to return to TSU after hiring students last Fall on the spot. “We met with a lot of them during the Fall career fair then hired them into full-time programs,” Brown said, noting that the company had more full-time hires than interns last semester. This time, Brown said she met many freshmen who were eager to work.
“Meeting a lot of freshmen has been great, they have been super engaged early on. We have opportunities that are open for students going into their sophomore year, so this is the perfect time for them to learn about what BOA has to offer.”
TSU graduate Iyana Clemente was excited to see familiar faces at her alma mater in her role as an employer. Clemente received a degree in aeronautical and industrial technology in 2021 and works for the Federal Aviation Administration. “Giving back to HBCUs is extremely important,” Clemente said. “Being able to see students that I was on campus with, being able to give back to them is a great opportunity for me.”
If you are a perspective employer or TSU student looking for more information about the TSU Career Services Department, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/careers/.