The front of Vidant Medical Center, one of the businesses which will be at the Health and Wellness career fair.

East Carolina University Career Services will host its first virtual Health and Wellness Career Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday via Handshake with prior registration required.

Career Services Director Tom Halasz said there are 27 employers registered for the fair and over 200 students are expected to participate. Halasz said there is not a deadline for registration, but it is important for students to use the opportunity given to connect with employers before the fair.

“We’re excited about the number of students, you know, typically we have under 100 students attend the health fair,” Halasz said. “So to have 200 students is encouraging, we’re encouraged by that.”

Halasz said the wellness focus is new to the fair this year, and in previous years, it was just the Health Fair. He said Career Services wanted to incorporate the additional wellness focus to include a variety of majors.

There are several organizations and businesses which will attend the fair, Halasz said. These organizations include Vidant Medical Center, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Peace Corps, University of North Carolina (UNC) Health and other large healthcare organizations located both in and outside of North Carolina.

“An interesting one is Peace Corps, which a lot of people don’t think about is health or wellness related, but a lot of the work that the Peace Corps does is in fact focused on public health,” Halasz said. “So that’s why the Peace Corps is going to be there and I think it’s a great opportunity for students to connect with.”

There are both group sessions and one-on-one sessions for students to meet with employers, Halasz said. The one-on-one sessions will provide the opportunity for students and employers to ask each other individual questions, he said.

The Health and Wellness Career Fair not only offers full-time employment searches, but offers internship opportunities as well, according to Halasz. He said this gives a chance for freshman, sophomores and juniors to meet and talk with employers for other opportunities aside from full-time employment.

“This is so very important to students, whether they’re looking for full-time positions or for positions to learn about different employers or different careers, is making connections,” Halasz said.

College of Nursing Student Transitions Director Frances Eason said she designed a course titled College of Nursing Graduating Senior Transitions this semester which consists of five modules to prepare students for career fairs. She said she has reviewed 75 student resumes and cover letters in an effort to prepare them for the Health and Wellness Fair.

Eason said while it is unfortunate the career fair cannot be held in person this year, students still have the opportunity to meet and speak with a recruiter or potential employer.

“I think we’ve got a lot going on, in fact that course takes a lot of my hours here at work,” Eason said. “Especially reviewing all these resumes and cover letters because I want, I want these East Carolina nursing students to present themselves as real professionals.”

ECU Career Services Senior Career Counselor Crystal Waters said she wants students to understand that times continue to change and even though career fairs will be virtual, it’s still best to be fully engaged.

Waters said she is excited about the new, virtual process as this career fair begins the fall semester’s fairs. She said the employers committed to serve this event have open opportunities for students in all majors to include both health and wellness.

The Health and Wellness Career Fair gives students the opportunity to strengthen their interpersonal communication skills, according to Waters.

“This is the opportunity where they (students) can actually see their (employers) body language,” Waters said. “They can actually see themselves on screen, they can hear their tone of voice, they can see how responsive the audience is.”

The next scheduled career fair is the Job and Internship Fair on Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by the Engineering and Technology Fair on Oct. 14 and the Graduate School Fair on Nov. 4. All career fair registration forms can be accessed through Handshake.

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