Fourth Year Successful for UM Part-time Job and Internship Fair

21 companies network with School of Business Administration students

Christy Wright (left), recruiting coordinator for the UM Career Center, visits with a student at the fourth annual UM Part-time Job and Internship Fair. Photo by Tavia Moore

OXFORD, Miss. – Nearly 100 business students at the University of Mississippi had an opportunity to network with a variety of companies in hopes of landing an internship or part-time job this fall.

The annual internship and part-time job and career fair, sponsored by the UM School of Business Administration and the university’s Career Center, hosted 21 companies to network and meet students. These included Fortune 500 companies such as FedEx and International Paper, as well as smaller, local companies from Oxford and the surrounding area. 

This Aug. 28 event has kicked off the school year for the business school for four years running. Ken Cyree, dean of the school, looks forward to this event each fall to welcome students back to campus.

“We encourage students to interact with our staff and faculty, and this event allows students to explore the many facets of the business school in a concentrated environment,” Cyree said. “We are happy to provide lunch and offer our small part in making their return to school as smooth as possible.”

The event took place in the Gertrude C. Ford Ballroom  at The Inn at Ole Miss, with decorated tables providing information about each company and opportunities they offer for business students.

Among the employers in attendance was North Mississippi Rural Legal Services, based in Oxford. 

Alfred Cutturini, a practicing attorney at NMRLS, enjoyed the fair and meeting prospective interns and potential future employees.

“I was enthused about what we could offer Ole Miss business students and how they could learn while assisting legal services in areas beyond the law,” Cutturini said. 

NMRLS recently hired a 2019 business graduate, Victoria Tracy, as an intern. She has been with the organization only a short time and, according to Cutturini, has already proven a vital asset to the team.

“What distinguishes Victoria (is that she) sees the bigger picture of how a nonprofit works, and she understands the obstacles we face at legal services: lack of funding for advertising and promotion, but also the immense need for our services throughout northern Mississippi,” Cutturini said.

“Not all of our law student interns understand the struggle to provide free services to underserved and impoverished clients, while doing it with little budget and resources.”

Tracy also has a calming presence and puts clients at ease when discussing their intimate legal situations, he said.

“I am so impressed with Victoria, and I want three more interns just like her,” Cutturini said.

Wesley Dickens, assistant director of experiential education in the business school, helped facilitate the event. He believes real-world experience is crucial for student success.

“Experiential learning is so important for students: job shadowing, informational interviews and internships,” Dickens said. “It provides a solid foundation for what you want to do with your career, and it makes a student more marketable for a job after graduation.”

The fair is just as beneficial for employers as it is for students, Dickens said. He explained that it allows a bridge to be built in the community between Ole Miss students and outside employers, creating a strong relationship for both.

“We try to hit a wide variety of companies since an internship can be conducted in many types of business environments,” Dickens said. “The goal is to create a pipeline so internships can lead to full-time jobs in the future.

“It’s essentially an extended interview process.”

The UM Career Center’s booth promoted a popular online job outlet called Handshake, which allows students to find internships and jobs, stay informed with on-campus recruiting events and connect directly with the career center. 

“Handshake is a great tool to stay in touch with employers, and also see the events we offer, such as workshops and LinkedIn headshots,” said Christy Wright, the career center’s recruiting coordinator.

The next career-oriented event planned for students will be an All-Major Career Expo, scheduled for Oct. 1 at The Inn at Ole Miss. Some of the businesses confirmed for the event are Raymond James, C Spire, Sanderson Farms, FedEx, International Paper and Trustmark Bank.