Gainesville company CEOs swapped their business suits for jeans at the third "hobnob job fair" Tuesday night.
Local technology companies, like 352 Inc. and Infinite Energy, scouted for student interns and employees. They networked at Infinity Hall with UF students studying science, technology, engineering, arts, math and creative studies.
"We want the students to know there’s an option to stay here (in Gainesville)," said Susan Davenport, CEO and president of Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Hobnob means to mix with others informally, which makes this career fair different than others students attend, Davenport said. The slash mark before the name represents the beginning of a computer code.
The job fair is put on by the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Gainesville Technology Council and CareerSource North Central Florida. About 100 students and 30 businesses attended the event.
There is no charge for companies to table at the event, and it’s free for students.
James Safko, a UF digital arts and sciences sophomore, said he decided to go to the event after receiving an email. He wants a career in technology and arts.
"I think (a) formal, Career Showcase-type event is intimidating," the 20-year-old said.
UF political science freshman Samantha Sosa attended the event and said she believes casual career fairs may become more popular in the future.
"I don’t have to dress up or anything," the 18-year-old said. "I’m in my workout clothes."