Career Fest connects students and employers

Janet Schaaf

The UMKC Career Services Office held its annual Career Fest on Sept. 29-30, with more than 69 employers participating in the two-day event.
“[Career Fest] has always been held in some capacity; it’s one of our feature events,” said Director of Career Services Greg Hayes. “This year we’re doing a little something different with the event. Yesterday [Sept. 29] we had an event that was primarily focused on all majors in the University, and today’s event focuses on those majors that are STEM majors: science, technology, engineering and math.”
Companies who attended Career Fest can be found on Roo Career Network (SSO and UMKC password are needed to log in) by choosing career fairs under the events tab. Links to companies’ websites and information about available positions with each company is listed.
Some of the Kansas City area’s major employers, such as Burns & McDonnell, Cerner and Honeywell were in attendance. Military recruiters from the Navy and Marine Corps Officer Programs and the Air Force were also present. There were career training and support providers such as Excelsior Springs Job Corps and Workforce Partnership, which both work in tandem with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Even though there were two different focus areas for the event, 11 employers attended both days.
Hillshire Brands was one such employer. Amy Bennett, the company’s representative at Career Fest, said that Hillshire was recently purchased by Tyson Foods, which has opened up the market potential for jobs.
“Not everyone wants to learn how to make a hot dog,” Bennett said, “but we also offer careers in safety and quality assurance.”
Depending on openings the company has at any given time, Bennett said they offer internships in sales, human resources, accounting and business.
Career Services counted 842 students in attendance at Career Fest, with the majority attending the STEM focused day.
“The STEM majors are very popular and there are a lot of jobs in those areas right now,” Hayes said.
Freshman pre-med major Krishna Amin, who attended the second day of Career Fest, found there were more employers looking for engineering majors than she had anticipated.
“There were not a lot of medical science employers,” Amin said. “I am looking for anything that puts me in a hospital environment.”
Freshmen biology majors Paige Moore and Hunter Bollinger attended both days to explore different careers and see what is available, but wished there were more health care employers present, which was why they returned the second day.
“I was thinking that it would be more individualized careers instead of broad companies,” Bollinger said.
They both felt it was a worthwhile opportunity, however.
“I know people who were going into finance and they actually got a job interview from here yesterday [Sept. 29],” Moore said.
Hayes indicated that most students in attendance the first day were attracted to financial institutions, accounting firms and retailers.
The Career Services Office is available to students for assistance beyond Career Fest. Students are encouraged to utilize Roo Career Network to begin their internship or job search. Career counselors are available to help develop a career search plan that is specific to each student’s needs. They offer assessments and self-exploration tools for students to learn about personality type, strengths and talents, and how to use these in career development.
To make an appointment with Career Services staff, login to Roo Career Network and choose Counseling Appointment under the Calendar tab. The Career Services office is located on the second floor of Atterbury Student Success Center. More information can be found at