By Hunter Focht
KU’s reopening plan for the Fall 2021 semester will introduce changes affecting how the internship and job fairs will operate post COVID-19.
“After the effects of COVID-19, educational job fairs will never be the same again,” said Jenelle Henry, Kutztown University assistant director of the Career Development Center. “Before the pandemic hit, employers used to be packed in rooms like sardines.”
Internship and job fairs scheduled to take place during the Fall 2021 semester will introduce a hybrid style system where fairs will be conducted virtually via zoom on separate days while others will be in person located within the McFarland Student Union.
Fairs scheduled for the Fall 2021 semester will be divided by subject matter to cut down on capacity and will be carried out on separate dates.
In person internship and job fair capacity will be reduced to around twenty to twenty-five employers versus the prior sixty pre-pandemic.
The major fair themes will be called Human Services, Government & The Arts and Business & STEM. As of reporting, it is undecided which ones will be offered in person and which ones will be online.
To comply with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Department of Education and State System of Higher Education’s COVID-19 guidelines, the university’s Career Development Center will instruct its invited employers and participating students to wear a face mask.
COVID-19 vaccinations will be recommended towards invited employers and students but will not be mandatory.
The online fairs this year saw an increase in student engagement due to more accessibility. Virtual fairs have seen bigger named companies come and participate in the events such as Crayola and J.G. Wentworth.
Prior to the pandemic, in person internship and job fairs would take anywhere from six to eight months to organize. Fairs would be held in McFarland Student Union and spanned across three rooms.
Educational fairs grant students the opportunity to introduce themselves to potential employers, improve their network and get their resume out there.
According to KU’s official website pertaining to the Fall 2021 reopening plan, “Some health and wellness protocols may remain in place, KU’s course offerings and residential experience will more-closely reflect its traditional on-campus environment.”