Aroostook Aspiration Initiative, the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and the University of Maine at Fort Kent are collaborating and putting a new spin on Career Fairs. The County’s first ever “Reverse Career Fair” is scheduled for April 16th from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Community Center in Caribou.
While a traditional career fair encourages employers to set up booths and share the needs of their business and industry markets to students attending the event, the Reverse Career Fair literally reverses these roles, with students taking ownership. College freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors compete for a spot at the fair, set up a display, and have the opportunity to meet leaders of business in Aroostook County.
Tammy DeLisle, Career Planning and Internship Placement Coordinator at UMFK, discovered the concept while researching ideas for career fairs. “The idea of a Reverse Career Fair is an outside of the box concept, but I strongly believe it is needed and will work well for Aroostook County. Through past coordination and feedback received from employers attending the traditional career fairs on the campuses of UMFK and UMPI, students did not approach the employers and therefore connections were not made. The reverse career fair concept places the students on the other side of the table and allows the employers to approach the students. It is a win-win for everyone. Students get to meet and put their resume in the hands of employers, and employers invest only a small segment of time in place of an entire day. Employers should not miss this opportunity to network with our students and discover the professional and leadership skills they can offer.”
April Flagg, executive director of the Aroostook Aspirations Initiative, is excited about the partnership between the universities and AAI. “This concept was a perfect fit for our new internship program. Connecting students with the employers in Aroostook, with the business and civic leaders, is a vital tool as we all work to reverse our outward migration. This event not only gives students a chance to brag about their abilities and skills, it helps employers see what this generation can bring to the workforce.”
“The University of Maine at Presque Isle has made career preparation opportunities for our students an area of even greater focus, so we are very pleased to be partnering with AAI and UMFK on this innovative event,” UMPI President Linda Schott said. “We are working on efforts that would provide all of our students with internships and other work experiences before they graduate, and the Reverse Career Fair is going to be a wonderful addition to that. Our hope is that it will help to expand our students’ understanding of the many great job opportunities available right here in Aroostook County.”
Employer involvement is key to the success of this event, as one of the goals is to showcase the opportunity available in Aroostook County to our students. Engaging students in the work available in Aroostook and allowing them to meet the people who make the hires, and who will have future positions available helps students see Aroostook as a great place to live and raise families.
The Reverse Career Fair will be held on Thursday, April 16th at the Community Center in Caribou from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and is a collaborative effort between Aroostook Aspirations Initiative, the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Businesses who wish to attend the fair need only email Aroostook Aspirations Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org. Students interested in securing a spot for this incredible opportunity should email Nicole Fournier at UMPI or Tammy Delisle at UMFK.