By: Sarah Rowan, Assistant News Editor
Students from Towson University’s mass communication and communication studies programs met with local media professionals Wednesday, April 13, for the department’s annual Spring Networking Fair, hosted by the TU PR Group.
The fair included representatives from public relations, advertising, journalism, communications and marketing industries. Attending companies included public relations firms Abel Communications and Maroon PR, as well as media outlets like Tote Magazine, an online lifestyle magazine that focuses on college women, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Fox 45 News.
“When an employer can see a student’s face, they make that personal connection to them and they usually are more likely to go and seek them as a candidate,” Career Center Internship Coordinator Emily Tipton said. “I really think that it gives them the opportunity to make a connection with an employer in a way that they can’t if they are just applying for a job online.”
Tipton and Career Center Associate Director Glenda Henkel, who both attended the fair, stressed the value of networking with employees to make professional connections and land both internships and paid jobs.
“It’s really important to have internships so you have that experience when you go to apply for a job and you can show them, ‘I’ve already worked in this position,’” TU PR Group Vice President of Networking Emma Forrester said. “You kind of have that leg up.”
According to Forrester, organizers wanted their fair to be more laid back and less overwhelming than larger career fairs, allowing students to be more confident about networking with potential employers.
“With this being a smaller event more targeted toward what they want to do, it’s easier for people to find companies that they might be interested in and to really get a feel for what they want to do,” Forrester said.
Students were advised to dress in business casual attire, bring a few copies of their resumes and prepare an “elevator speech” to present to employers. According to Forrester, the event received a good turnout with over 100 people attending throughout the day.
TU PR Group president Leanne Haggerty said that the group was “really pleased” with the event as a whole. According to Haggerty, they received a lot of support from professors in planning the event throughout the semester.
The TU PR Group meets every Tuesday at 5 p.m. in Van Bokkelen Hall, Room 204. At their meetings, they do resume workshops and host different guest speakers.
“We try to reach out to other places,” Forrester said. “It helps them get involved too, which I think is really important.”