Klein College's annual Advertising and Public Relations Senior Showcase offers a unique opportunity for students to connect and network with employers. Rather than the typical job fair featuring students approaching employers, students set up their own tables displaying their skills and achievements and wait to be approached.
Hosted in the second floor of the Howard Gittis Student Center, nearly 110 students participated in the showcase, showing off their work to nearly 120 employers and to advertising and public relations majors.
"I'm incredibly proud of what these students are doing. I've taught almost everyone in here but not for at least a couple years, so it's nice to seem them grow, to improve in their skill sets and to figure out who they are," said advertising professor Bill Cook.
Cook helped to plan the event, saying after five years, the team has it down to a science, from recruiting students, employers, booking the space, catering and the creative content.
"I'm always looking for great thinkers and great creativity," said Tom Conti, the CEO of Punch Performance Marketing. "I am amazed at the talent and passion students have. It's not just about the work, but in talking to these students, it's amazing how prepared they are with real-world experience coming out of their senior year."
Students' tables were decorated with awards they have won, campaigns they have worked on or content they have created to demonstrate their hardwork and dedication to their careers.
"[The showcase] reinforces the image they have of our students. It shows the employer how prepared they are to go into the professional world," said Gregg Feistman, a public relations professor. "These are not students anymore, they are real-world professionals."
Kristen Lopez, a public relations major, felt competitive with her grade point average distinction and collection of three internships coupled with the skills on her résumé.
"This is so valuable because it's giving me an opportunity to showcase my portfolio to multiple employers in an environment where I felt comfortable because my teachers and peers were also there supporting me," Lopez said. "Job fairs can be nerve-wracking because you're standing in line to talk to employers, but having them come to you was really reassuring."
"It's a testament to their hard work," said public relations Professor LiRon Anderson-Bell. "They have an opportunity to culminate all that they've learned, so for me it's fulfilling to see that their hard work is paying off."