By Natalie Googer, Clemson University Junior and Clemson Event Planners Association (CEPA) representative responsible for the career fair.
The Clemson Event Planners Association (CEPA) is a student organization that plans events and engages students with the professional community. I became interested in the organization my sophomore year when I decided to pursue a career in event planning after graduation. I am now the Event Coordinator on the Executive Board for the organization.
The CEPA executive board plans events, coordinates with other on campus organizations, and brings in speakers from the event industry. CEPA has given me the opportunity to meet professionals in the industry, such as Jennifer Dennis from Love This Little City Event Coordination and Samantha Radandt, who owns B & R Events.
Being the event coordinator for CEPA has given me many opportunities to expand my experience in event planning. One of these great experiences was planning the PRTM Career Fair. This opportunity gave me real world experience working with the university, as well as outside vendors.
The CEPA/PRTM Career, Internship and Camp Job Fair took place on February 17, 2020, however, this is a project I have been working on since the end of last school year (2019). Planning an event is a long and detailed process. Planning the career fair gave me experience in the full process of creating an event. One of the things that I love about event planning is finally seeing the event come to life after I have worked on all of the little details for months.
For the fair I worked with members of the PRTM faculty, university personnel, and outside vendors. I worked closely with the Student Event Coordinator for Campus Life, Aysia Cooper. Working with Aysia was a unique experience, because she is a PRTM student as well. I enjoyed getting to work on this event with her, and put into practice some of the things we have learned in the classroom together.
I was also in charge of student volunteers and marketing to students. Marketing an event such as a career fair to students is crucial for the event to be successful. I decided that the best ways to market to students would be flyers around campus, a presentation with video, and most importantly social media. With the help of the PRTM communications team, we created a video that talked about the importance of the career fair, and some tips on how to be successful at the fair.
We interviewed PRTM students from different concentrations to cover a variety of experiences. This video was then attached to a PowerPoint presentation that was emailed to students and to faculty to share at the beginning of classes leading up to the career fair. The goal of the presentation and video was to encourage students to go to the fair, and be prepared to make connections. We also featured parts of the video and other stories from the PRTM blog on the PRTM Facebook and Instagram accounts, because we believe that students pay the most attention to marketing via social media.
Marketing this event to students is another experience that I know will help me in my future career. Knowing how to target a specific audience and market to that audience is a key part of a successful event.
Overall, planning the PRTM Career Fair was a great experience for me. I got to use practices that I have learned in my PRTM classes and practicum experiences to put on an event to help other Clemson students. I am thankful I had the opportunity to plan this event through CEPA, and am excited for how this experience will help me in my future internships and career!
The CEPA/PRTM Career, Internship and Camp Job Fair is an annual event that helps students meet employers in the field and network for practicums, internships or job opportunities. Learn more about the career fair, including participating employers.