Seizing Every Opportunity (SEO) is a free program that helps Black, Latinx, and Native American college students secure internships with partner organizations. Every year, SEO hosts a career fair that helps students secure professional networks that last a lifetime.
With all in-person career fairs cancelled due to COVID, SEO had to find a virtual way to connect their students to representatives from their partner companies.
Lack of recruiting strategy
The economic ramifications of COVID-19 were tremendous especially on the Latinx and Black communities. With the number of employed workers falling by 24.7 million from February to April 2020, internships also quickly disappeared. Companies that normally sent recruiters to in-person job fairs struggled to find ways to connect with students and those suddenly left unemployed.
Not a whole lot of networking
Resumes, grade point averages, and extracurriculars are only half the issue. Networking opportunities remain one of the most important aspects of career fairs. Without in-person events, students can’t show recruiters their personality and drive. Nor can they connect about passions outside career prospects. How could SEO provide an easy, natural networking event online? It seemed impossible.
2-day event for 60 companies and hundreds of students
Run The World worked with SEO to create a huge virtual career fair on July 30th and August 6th. The fair drew some 60 recruiters from 30 companies, including Morgan Stanley, IBM, and Blackstone, and hundreds of attendees.
During the first hour, recruiters set up around 15 booths at the same time. They also had a designated SEO Help Desk, for students with questions.
They also had the option to join a Cocktail Party session, which allowed them to speed-network with other students after watching their fill of videos, giving them the opportunity to widen their professional networks while in quarantine.
The second hour was used to connect students directly with recruiters. Each company was assigned a session, or “booth” at the event, and a recruiter was able to talk in more detail about the opportunities each company had to offer the students. Students were then able to interact with the recruiters using the Grab the Mic feature, which brought them on screen and allowed them to ask their questions face-to-face.