More than 350 employers converged on the UF campus for the annual Career Showcase, held Sept. 30 – Oct. 1.
An estimated 8,000 suited-up students and alumni visited the O’Connell Center during the two-day event, billed as the “largest career fair in the Southeast.”
New vendors to this year’s Career Showcase included Lilly Pulitzer, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Burger King Corporation and Burlington Stores, said UF Career Resource Center spokeswoman Dana McPherson. Returning big-name corporations included Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Nielsen, Enterprise car rentals, Bloomberg, Bank of America and Chevron.
The event was divided into focus areas. Day One was dedicated to non-technical students, and Day Two targeted technical-skill students.
The purpose of the Nielsen-sponsored showcase is to connect students and alumni with jobs and internships they can pursue with their UF education. It also gives students a taste of the job-interviewing process and networking.
Nicholas Osborn, a UF College of Business graduate, is a Career Showcase success story.
A few years ago, Osborn followed the standard online registration process to apply for interviews with different companies represented at the showcase. At the event, he engaged in interviews and handed out application packets and resumes.
“I hadn’t applied to too many jobs before Showcase happened because I wanted to see what companies were interested in hiring Gators,” Osborn said in a statement from UF’s Career Resource Center. “Eventually, after applying all over, a position at a financial investment firm worked out in my favor,” Osborn said. “I’m glad it did. I’ve been at the company I’m at for two years, and I love it.”