(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Meeting with potential employers virtually was the best way for Texas State Technical College students to participate in a recent job fair.
Traditionally TSTC has hosted an industry job fair at the Student Center, but with current COVID-19 restrictions limiting people on campus, a virtual event was scheduled for last month.
More than 100 companies from throughout the country participated in the event, and students were able to participate in their home, at work or on campus.
The Wind Energy Technology program in Sweetwater took time out of its lab sessions to allow students to take part in the job fair. Several students said having the event online was better because it opened up possible job opportunities outside of West Texas.
“I knew this would help a lot of people. For me, I was able to see other options out there,” said San Angelo resident Chris Boyd, who has already found employment after he completes the program. “Attending the job fair could help me in the future.”
Joe Sodergren, of Salado, said his goal was to find employment closer to home. He said the best part of the virtual event was that he did not have to wait to speak with representatives.
“A lot of times you have all the lines to talk to people,” he said. “The best thing is there is a certain time we can visit with a business and find out what they are looking for in an employee.”
Kody Moncada, of Eagle Pass, said having the additional companies available was a good incentive to participate this year.
“The more options we have helps us,” he said. “We could get a job offer from anywhere in the state or country.”
Marcos Gonzales, of Bruceville, said he preferred to meet with people in person, but he agreed with his classmates that additional job opportunities were enticing.
“I better communicate with people face to face, but I know this was the best way to have a job fair,” he said. “This gave everybody more options with more companies.”
Jake Knowles, of San Angelo, also said the event was good, but he did narrow down his list of places to work.
“As long as I can work in Texas, I will be happy,” he said. “I just want to get in the field and start working.”
Each of the students said the stress of preparing for the job fair was not as high as in previous years.
“I have always been nervous walking into a building for the job fair,” Knowles said. “This time, I did not have any of those nerves. I was prepared to talk to everyone.”
“I was more comfortable doing this on the computer. I think there was a lot less tension for us,” said Moncada, who added that TSTC career services representatives helped everyone prepare for the job fair.
Sodergren said the students still had to do one thing to prepare for the virtual job fair.
“We all had to make sure we looked presentable,” he said.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.