Part-time job fair brings employers to campus, providing convenience for students searching for work
The holidays are fast approaching, and retailers are scrambling to hire seasonal employees to work during the busiest times.
Liz Pullman, an executive team lead at Target in Christiansburg, has already started scheduling workers for Thanksgiving and Black Friday and can aptly express the difficulty of such a task.
“It’s hectic. It’s confusing, and it hurts,” joked Pullman, in between conversations with Radford University students about seasonal work opportunities at her store.
Pullman was among a group of business representatives invited to the inaugural Part-time Job Fair on campus Nov. 7. Hosted by the university’s Center for Career and Talent Development, the event, held inside the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, was coordinated to give students an opportunity to meet with employers all in one convenient location.
An important role for the center is to help students find work experiences.
Many Radford University students qualify for work study jobs, said Gwen Houston, assistant director of Employer Relations and Engagement. However, “we have more students than we have positions. So, we thought it would be a good idea to bring employers to campus to recruit students for positions they have available.”
Convenience is important for busy students who are searching for part-time employment while balancing their academic schedules.
“This fair lets you know who is actually looking for workers. It saves you time from applying to places that really aren’t looking to hire,” said Justin Webb, a junior from Bath County. He said he’s looking for an afternoon and weekend position.
Taniya Underwood, a freshman accounting major from Woodbridge, engaged with numerous employers as she explored the fair with he sister, Savannah McPherson.
“This is very convenient,” Underwood said. “Not everybody has time to go from point A to point B. Not everybody has a car. So, we can just take 20 minutes and come here and meet lots of employers.”
McPherson was reluctant to attend the fair, but “she brought me here,” said the freshman biology major, pointing to her sister. “I’m glad she did. Radford is giving us everything, we just have to take it.”
Many of the business that sent representatives to the job fair are easily accessible by Radford Transit. One of those is Food Lion, located less than a mile from campus.
Radford students often begin work there as freshmen, said store manager J.D. Davis, and continue throughout their college years, and sometimes and beyond.
“We have a lot of Radford students who start out with us at the entry level,” Davis said. “They’ll grow with us while they’re in school and like it so much and see it’s such a great company, that they then pursue a job at the corporate office.”
For now, many students are looking to earn money for tuition, bills, food and savings. “I want to be able to pay my rent,” said Erin Garland, a senior interior design major from Roanoke.
“That’s what we have to offer, and we have a lot of positions available,” Pullman said about her Target store, where “quite a few Radford students” are employed.
“It’s great to have them,” she continued. “They’re hard-working, and they are what we need.”