With the beginning of fall semester underway, campus is full of students. For some who are near graduation, this is a time to actively plan for their careers. Fortunately, for those students, UM-Flint’s Career Center hosts two Career Fairs throughout the year. These fairs provide students firsthand experience interacting with “real world” employers, and many of the students come away with employment leads and internship opportunities. UM-Flint alumni volunteers play a vital role at the fairs by helping students prepare for their interactions with employers.
Kim Knag (’96, & ’01) a loyal alumni volunteer, has been volunteering with the Career Fair for three years and finds value in using his experience to help students feel ready for interviews.
“I help students understand that they are not alone but can rely on experienced alumni to help them out. We give them pointers on how to position themselves, how to approach potential employers, and instill confidence in their career pursuits,” said Knag.
Alumnus Jerry Rule (’78) also enjoys helping students and employers at the Career Fairs and has found the work very rewarding.
“I spoke with a young student who, when first coming to the Career Fair, was very nervous. I learned what he was interested in and directed him to employers I believed he was qualified for. As he was leaving, he was very excited to tell me about his positive interviews. Knowing that I helped build his confidence and that he felt comfortable enough to share his success stories with me shows that I had an impact,” said Rule.
Rule sees helping students as they enter their careers as so important, that he is coordinating a professional clothing drive for the students. He’s seeking clean men’s and women’s suits, suit coats, slacks and dresses of all sizes for the students to use in their career searching. His goal is to get students thinking about the correct way to dress for interviews and to provide them with the appropriate clothing to do it.
“It’s all about dressing for success. The first impression employers have of a potential job candidate is based off of what they’re wearing. Unfortunately, for many of our students, their budgets are tight and they simply can’t afford to buy a new outfit for the fair or a job interview,” said Rule.
If you are interested in donating nearly-new clothing for students to use, please see the flyer below, or contact Jerry Rule at 810-965-4011, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.