Dressed in her new charcoal gray suit and carrying 20 copies of her resume, Kristiana Caine prepared to meet with employers at UF’s biannual Career Showcase.
The 21-year-old UF marketing senior attended the event, held by the Career Resource Center on Tuesday, hoping to land a full-time job after graduating in Spring.
“I was definitely nervous, but I know that I’m a people person,” she said.
Caine said she planned on visiting 14 companies on the first day of the showcase and six more on Wednesday. The first day of showcase is non-technical employers and the second is dedicated to technical fields.
Caine said she felt less nervous because the employers were already seeking out UF students, giving her an advantage.
“I know these companies are so amazing, and UF invests so much into this event, so why not use the opportunities that UF gives you?” she said.
This is the first Fall the event was held in the renovated O’Connell Center, said Ja’Net Glover, interim director for career services at the CRC.
“As we’ve grown, the O’Connell Center is the only facility in Gainesville that will sustain our event with the volume of activity,” she said.
Over the two days, the event will host 364 companies coming to recruit UF students, Glover said. Glover anticipates between 6,000 and 8,000 students will attend over the two days, she said. Last year, over 7,400 students took part in the showcase over the course of both days.
The top employers at the showcase, including Deloitte and KPMG, hired over 100 UF students last year and will likely do the same this year, Glover said.
Glover said students have been preparing for the event since Fall began by going to the CRC for resume critiques and other advice.
“Even if you’re not ready to look for a job, it’s never too early to be able to build a brand and build connections and relationships,” Glover said.
Ana Primo, a UF business management freshman, went into the event without feeling nervous, she said. Primo only wanted to go around and speak to a few employers for the experience. She went to about four companies to refine her interviewing skills.
“We are here more for the experience of it, so we can be prepared for next time,” the 19-year-old said.
Matthew Martell, a 19-year-old UF accounting sophomore, said he wasn’t initially planning to go to the event because he thought he was too young. Martell’s professional speaking class required attendance so students could learn to give an elevator pitch.
Martell said he ended up talking to a company that seemed interested in him.
“I was really nervous to talk to them for the first time because I’ve never done it before, but after talking about just normal stuff and making conversation, I felt a lot better about it,” Martell said.
Wearing something that looked professional was important to Martell, he said. He dressed in a gray suit with a maroon tie.
“I didn’t want to be somebody that stuck out for, like, not wearing enough,” he said. “I’d rather over-wear than under-wear.”