On May 12, the University of Mississippi-Tupelo will graduate 150 Northeast Mississippi residents with a college degree.
Some of these students will begin their careers in the full-time work force for the first time. Others will complete a degree that allows them to advance in their current careers or begin new ones.
Regardless of which stage they may be in, the common factor for each of these students is securing or advancing employment, and where full-time classroom education ends, on-the-job training begins.
During the Spring Career Fair at Ole Miss-Tupelo on March 29, employers from throughout Northeast Mississippi will have the opportunity to meet junior and senior-level students or alumni to discuss career opportunities, internships, summer jobs, graduate or professional programs, and other opportunities in their fields.
Ole Miss-Tupelo students are working toward degrees in the fields of accounting; business administration including management, marketing and MIS; criminal justice; elementary education; health information sciences; liberal arts including English, history and sociology; paralegal studies; secondary education; and social work.
Area businesses and organizations participating in last year’s fair were able to secure full-time employees who now serve as accountants, human resource representatives, teachers, social workers, law enforcement personnel, and numerous other positions in the Tupelo area.
With the help of the annual Career Fair at Ole Miss-Tupelo, students and employers can more easily determine if the company and employee would be a good match.
Most employers who attend the annual event are hoping to fill full-time positions within their organizations, but a few area businesses may be interested in offering a different avenue of employment that could serve as an important part of a student’s education in their particular field.
An internship is a short-term work experience in a business or organization that is related to a student’s area of study. Internships offer students the chance to learn by doing in a setting in which they are supervised by a workplace professional, and have the opportunity to achieve their learning goals, without the responsibilities of permanent employment.
Internships are a win-win situation for everyone involved. For students, internships can help them learn about a career field from the inside, enable them to work alongside a professional in their chosen career area, provide them the opportunity to learn new skills and add to their knowledge base, and allow students to apply ideas they have learned in school. Internships may be counted as class credit.
Most importantly, these internships can provide a bridge between school and the professional world and may open the door to a job offer or a recommendation as to the next steps students should take on their career path.
For more information on how your business or organization can participate in the Ole Miss-Tupelo student internship program or attend the 2007 Spring Career Fair, please contact Gayle Wicker, Ole Miss-Tupelo Student Services Coordinator at (662) 844-5622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Jim Pate is dean of the Ole Miss-Tupelo campus.