Overcrowding issue at career fairs limits student experience
Every year, Baruch College’s Starr Career Development Center hosts job fairs where students can network with multiple employers. These fairs include Fall Career Day, the Fall CPA Fair and the Spring Internship Fair. However, the many students who attend these events make it impossible for any single student to take full advantage of the opportunities provided to them.
In order to attend these events, students must RSVP on Starr Search. They are also required to dress formally in suits and bring their resumes. With 800-plus students in attendance, the fairs tend to get overcrowded, and long lines form outside of the venue. In recent fairs, 70 to 80 employers were present, and there were approximately 1,000 students. Such a huge attendance causes each student to not fully experience and enjoy the fair. In such crowds, students can only meet with employers for roughly five minutes, which is just enough time to exchange names and resumes but nothing more.
Meanwhile, there are still students waiting on line for their turn to meet with employers.
In order for these fairs to be effective and efficient, they should be tailored to different classes so the number of students in attendance decreases. There should be a separate career fair for freshmen and sophomores and another one for juniors and seniors. This way, everyone would have more time to network and wouldn’t feel as pressured to get to as many employers as possible in a limited amount of time.
Perhaps also every student should be allowed to attend only one fair per year so everyone could have an equal chance of attending one.
There should also be a limit on the amount of students that can attend the event. An overcrowded fair can create an unsafe environment. At such a large event, it may be hard for students to hear the employers and other students. One solution to this problem could be to host the fairs throughout multiple classrooms on one floor, such as the 14th floor in the Newman Vertical Campus.
With so many people and a limited amount of time, students are not able to take notes or fully absorb the information that is presented to them. Instead, they simply focus on collecting business cards with no intention of reaching out to those representatives.
Even though these events are face to face, not every student will be able to forge their own personal connection with an employer. These events are not worth hosting if students can't get the full experience.