Mines Students learn more and talk face-to-face companies about potential careers at the spring Career Fair

Sd Mines Career Fair28RAPID CITY, S.D. – Academia has moved aside for the real world at South Dakota Mines with the spring Career Fair Tuesday.

Over 170 businesses were there to talk with kids and 28 of them were from the Black Hills area.

Administrators say they’ve nearly doubled the number of vendors this year, compared to previous spring career fairs.

Cause for the increase in vendors

“A typical spring is between 80 and 100 employers,” Matthew Hanley, director of career services at South Dakota Mines, said. “COVID-19 created a lot of unique challenges where not only did we see a lot of early retirements and people leave the workforce and not come back, but on top of that companies found out that it created challenges that they hadn’t seen before. So they needed these professionals who could think outside the box and come up with unique solutions to these unique problems.”

The increase also plays into the value of Mines students.

Hanley says that the academic program is rigorous but they also develop professionally both inside and outside the classroom.

“You can be the smartest person in the room, but if you can’t communicate those ideas and if you can’t work as part of a team, there’s not as much value for you within a company. So our students, when they leave here, have gained those skills,” He said. “Mines graduates are still highly in-demand. They’re getting an excellent degree with a very strong occupational outlook.”

The goal of the career fair

“We want to connect students with as many different opportunities as we possibly can. So the goal is to get them to meet a lot of different companies and try and find the company that’s the right fit for them,” Hanley said. “For a lot of them, it’s here in South Dakota. For others, it might be elsewhere. Even when our students leave the state, they go out, they gain experience that makes them the professional that they want to be someday.  A lot of them will gain that experience and they’ll bring it back here to the Black Hills.”

Photos of the Spring Career Fair:

Student’s perspective

“This is really important, especially for student-athletes as well, just getting time off, especially in the spring with our fall season being football,” Keegan Tandy, 21, junior of Seattle, said. “It gives us an opportunity to kind of connect face to face with the players. While a lot of other students may have more time and more opportunities than we do.”

It’s just good for any student though to be able to talk face-to-face with companies for potential internships and job offers.

“This is incredibly important because not of colleges and universities do this type of thing,” Tandy said. “There’s not a lot of times when you apply for an internship that you maybe get an interview or get that kind of reply back. So having a face-to-face connection and building that connection with employers is very important.”

Trevor Heinemann, assistant project manager with Henry Carlson Construction

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News