More than 60 businesses spent the morning answering questions about work, life, and industry trends
photos and text by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (February 28, 2018) – Susan Barnhart was hoping for at least 50 businesses. When she heard back from more than 60, the decision was made to move the Career Fair into the big gym. The larger space accommodated six rows of tables and about 200 students at a time.
Barnhart is a Business Ed teacher at TF South and the primary organizer of TF South’s first Career Fair. The photos below capture some scenes from the event.
Each business was given a table and a sign, and businesses were welcome to enhance their “booth” with banners, brochures, samples, and additional signage. The businesses were grouped according to industry, so students with a specific area of interest would be able to visit as many as possible within the limited time they had.
The Village of Lansing was well represented at the Career Fair. Even though the Village represents a variety of industries, their tables were grouped together, which may have helped students see the possible career paths that can lead into public service:
Part of the school day
The Career Fair was scheduled into the school day in a way that allowed all students to participate. Since gym class is a part of every student’s school day, the Career Fair replaced gym today.
Students had the freedom to visit the tables of any businesses that interested them, but they were required to visit at least four tables during their 40-minute session.
Community and variety
Barnhart was intentional about choosing businesses that would showcase the variety of career opportunities available within the Lansing community and the surrounding area.
Even within an individual field, students could find a variety of opportunities. For example, within the food industry—
Good advice for all of us
Many of the businesses at TF South’s Career Fair were represented by people who are able to speak passionately because they love their work. “I could probably retire,” said a vet tech during a break, “but I love it, so I keep coming in every morning!”
“You have to find a path that’s right for you,” said an engineer. And being able to talk with people from trades, finance, marketing, the sciences, the military, technology, and academia reassured students of the wisdom of matching their skills and interests to whatever profession they choose.
By the end of the 7 sessions, more than 1,800 students had experienced the Career Fair.
TF South High School is located at 18500 Burnham Avenue in Lansing, Illinois.