By Laura Aviles, Staff Writer
The career fair season has begun! The first diversity career fair recently took place in Houston, Texas. From September 28th to October 1st, the Prospanica Conference and Career Expo offered opportunities for career advancement through educational sessions, recruitment interviews and networking events.
Prospanica, previously known as The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), was rebranded with this name at the beginning of the year in order to create more synergies with the Hispanic community. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering its community to achieve educational, economic, and social potential. This year the national conference and career expo received more than 120 exhibitors between well-renowned multinational and national companies as well as universities.
A group of 14 T-birds traveled to participate in Prospanica and take advantage of being part of one of the biggest national career fairs for diversity and inclusion. They were all from the first year program of the Master of Global Management (MGM) degree driven by the enthusiasm to make connections, build networks, and get internship opportunities together with the excitement of the new learning experience. From the school side, they were accompanied by Guy Groff and Helen Wu, Senior Director and Employer Relations of the Career Management Center, respectively.
The group of T-birds arrived on Thursday, September 29th, and their journey began with networking events at the Hilton Hotel, where many companies such as Microsoft, Pitney Bones, and Amazon hosted private networking events. This was a good opportunity to talk directly with the executives of the companies as well as people from different universities.
Preparation was key in order to take the most advantage of the career fair opportunities. There were two halls during the event: Hall A, where most of the companies presented their job/internship opportunities and people approached to ask questions, and Hall B, which was established to provide space for the companies to interview candidates. Most of the interviews were scheduled in advance for those participants who applied through the Prospanica website weeks before the event. Furthermore, participating in the career fair from start to finish was also important because some of the participants got interviews from the opening spaces that the recruiters had reserved for the last day.
Although Prospanica is well known for being one of the biggest national career fairs, the attendance was lower than it had been in the previous years. One of the reasons could be related to the fact that many companies didn’t offer sponsors for international students, or they only offer them for specific fields of work. This would be one of the biggest challenges for a career fair whose core message is one of diversity and inclusion. Either way, the low attendance was also seen as an opportunity for students who were there to have more exposure to the list of companies who participated in Prospanic. T-birds were excited to make the most of opportunities and learn from their experiences.