New App Is a Guide to the Career Fair

Grupio offers a new way for students to engage at the Spring 2014 Career and Internship Fair.

February 24, 2014

By Brittney Dunkins

Students attending the Spring 2014 Career and Internship Fair  will have a new way to connect with prospective employers using Grupio, a mobile application that offers a visual guide to navigating the fair, which will be held Thursday at the Marvin Center.

Grupio allows seamless searching of the more than 100 organizations that will be represented at the annual networking event, presented by the Center for Career Services with support from the Career Services Council.

According to Managing Director for Employer Services Staci Fowler, utilizing an app for the fair is the perfect way to connect with students.

“The career fair allows students to showcase skills that they may have learned through career services programs and resources,” Ms. Fowler said. “When we were preparing we thought it made sense to have students use digital technology to navigate the fair, the same way they would in their everyday lives.”

Each employer will be listed on Grupio with a booth number, a link to their site and a description of the qualifications they are looking for in recruits. The app, which can be downloaded for iPhone, Android and Blackberry, includes a full map of the layout and information about the LinkedIn photo booth, sponsored by GW Alumni Relations, where students can have professional photos taken.

“Engaging students digitally falls in line with the university’s mission of sustainability and supports our efforts to minimize the use of paper,” Ms. Fowler said. “It’s also an efficient means of reaching students where they are.”

Students will also have an opportunity to complete a short survey via the app that will be reviewed by the Center for Career Services.

“We are really excited to be able to track the analytics and see exactly how useful the app is,” Ms. Fowler said. “We can use this information to continue improving resources for students.”

The app is branded with the My Career Success Plan, a comprehensive action plan created by Career Services. The plan prepares students for the workforce through an array of skill-building activities, workshops and events that focus on self-knowledge, leadership, digital preparedness, occupations and industries, workplace and interpersonal skills, application materials, networking and interviewing.

New tools and services such as the My Career Success Plan and the on-site career fair prep room have given the fair a boost in popularity, increasing attendance to a record 1,500 students in the fall.

The Center for Career Services has also introduced successful recruitment partnerships with Macy’s and Venture for America as a part of employer development efforts through the Career Services Enhancement Initiative. Following the Fall 2013 Career and Internship Fair, Macy’s hired six students representing the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Business, for full-time positions.

Macy’s will return as an employer for the upcoming fair.

Ms. Fowler recommends that students prepare by attending the Center for Career Services’ career fair preparation workshops, events and extended drop-in hours and researching prospective employers. An event focused on career fairs and the unique needs of international students was hosted on Friday.

“We are trying to evolve the career fairs to meet students where they are, listen to their feedback and provide services and resources that they need to be successful,” Ms. Fowler said.