This article is part of a “Spirit of Collaboration” series highlighting successful collaborative efforts between CareerSource North Central Florida and the business community.
A bounty of alumni and students came bustling in the Hough Graduate School of Business Friday, March 21, for the second “Stay in the Swamp” career fair in pursuit of employment and internship opportunities offered by more than 30 participating companies. More than 100 students and alumni from the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business Administration attended this year’s career fair.
“Stay in the Swamp” is presented by CareerSource North Central Florida and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the University of Florida Graduate Business Career Services (GBCS). This unique and distinctive career fair is a targeted effort to retain bright talent and empower them to thrive in the Gainesville area.
The event began with the roles reversed. Each company had up to two minutes to pitch their organizational culture and job opportunities. Students then made their way around the three overflowing floors of employers’ booths to speak with representatives about available employment and internship opportunities. Employers, such as international branding agency 160over90, Infinite Energy, Aerotek, RTI Surgical, Naylor, and PeerFit, came ready to “tend to the masses” with educational materials, promotional gear and upbeat company representatives.
Employers lined up to find some of Gainesville’s best talent at UF Hough Graduate School of Business. Director of Career Services Craig W. Petrus said the career fair was even more successful than last year’s. This fair is vital to assist the ever-growing Gainesville community by creating invigorating conversation with local employers and graduating students.
First-time “Stay in the Swamp” employer Julian Miller said he was pleasantly surprised at the amount of students in the technical and design field and wants the “best of the best” talent to stay in the Gainesville area. Miller is the CEO of Eventplicity, a local startup that automates the process of booking full service events. Miller had specific needs and niche positions to fill, and the career fair gave him access to the talent he was hunting for.
Each host organization looks forward to bringing back “Stay in the Swamp” for a third year, in hopes of expanding its reach and multiplying its magnitude to support a prosperous community of employment and opportunity.
“The value of the career fair and the collaborative ecosystem driving its success is becoming more recognizable in the Gainesville community,” said Kim Tesch-Vaught, executive director of CareerSource NCFL. “Together, we have developed a replicable model and a strong brand – ‘Stay in the Swamp’. CareerSource North Central Florida works to positively impact economic prosperity by connecting the business community with job seekers promoting employment, entrepreneurship and growth opportunities.”