NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students looking for internships, full-time employment and co-op opportunities got a major break on Wednesday. More than 130 companies and potential employers converged on the main campus for the 2018 Fall Career Fair.
Representatives from government agencies, aerospace, engineering, healthcare and the entertainment industries set up tents, tables and displays in the Gentry Center Complex to network with students about career and potential employment opportunities.
Organizers said nearly 400 students attended the all-day fair.
India Brown, a junior sociology major with public health concentration, and Anthony Wadsworth, a senior electrical engineering major, were among the first students at the fair. They were both looking for internships.
“I am looking for something that’s in the health field, dealing with social work,” said Brown, a Memphis native, as she filled in an application form with Tennessee Family Solutions, Inc., a direct support group dedicated to people with special needs.
For Wadsworth, who was networking at the Boeing table, he was following up on a previous meeting with Boeing representatives in Washington, D.C, last summer. He is seeking his first internship.
“I spoke with them at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards ceremony in Washington last summer. They directed me to the right place and I am just here to follow up,” said Wadsworth, who is from Nashville.
He may just be in luck. Boeing representatives said they were “quite” impressed with the quality and preparedness of the TSU students at the fair.
“We see a great potential here among these students,” said Edward H. Gerding, vice president and senior chief engineer for structure and mechanical systems at Boeing. “We are actually looking across the board. We are growing in all aspects of our business between engineering, supply chain and business. We are looking for engineers and people in varieties of specialties, and now is the perfect time for students that are searching for internships.”
Like Boeing, representatives from the CIA, FedEx, NASA, Regions Bank and several other corporations and employers said TSU students – dressed in dark business suits and black shoes – were very impressive in appearance, approach and presentation.
“We do a lot of work in terms of preparation,” said Charles Jennings, director of the TSU Career Development Center, which organized the fair. “Last week and up to yesterday, we spent time getting them ready for interviews. I see that it shows, because a lot of the employers are talking about the great turnout and how ready our students are.”
Jennings also attributed the success of the fair and the preparedness of students to the mentorship provided by alumni of the career center, many of whom returned not only as recruiters for their various companies, but also to help their younger protégés prepare for the real world.
“It is just nice to see them giving back to their institution,” Jennings said.
In all, nearly 30 TSU graduates, who got their career start with companies through the Career Development Center, were seen sporting shirts with Alumni on a TSU blue patch affixed to the chest. One of them was Corey L. Harrell, NASA SMA engines branch chief at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
He said coming back to TSU as a “proud alum” means a lot to him. “Anytime I can get a chance to come back I always do it,” said Harrell, who has returned several times to mentor and participate in the career fair. “
For more information on future career fairs or the TSU Career Development Center, to http://www.tnstate.edu/careers/
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With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.