Welcome Week has been fun for new and returning students at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, but it also comes with a purpose.
The Part-time Employment Fair and the Involvement Fair on Aug. 20 are two events designed to maximize student engagement and success. Students attended both events in record numbers.
The Part-time Employment Fair featured 27 employers who met with more than 400 students, said Amber Lennon of the Career Center.
“We have 50 percent more employers this year, and student participation is way up,” Lennon said. “The employers are very pleased with what they are seeing.”
Later at the Involvement Fair, Dalton Hoffer, assistant director of the Office of Community and Civic Engagement, celebrated record numbers also. The University Center Annex was packed with tables, and 525 students had visited at the halfway mark.
“We’ve got music, food, dancing and raffles,” Hoffer said of the festive atmosphere. “Welcome Week has been great this year, and it’s the first time we’ve had the Involvement Fair during the week. I think it helped.”
Greeks, student clubs and community organizations sported full sign-up sheets. Maureen Johnston, a senior Political Science major and founder of the Political Science Club, said her group is very low key, but students showed interest.
“Students reject us at first because of the word ‘political,’” Johnston said. “We’re doing really well with sign-ups.”
Latin sorority Lambda Theta Alpha was also looking for recruits. “We’re an academic sorority with a high GPA,” said Sonja Goveo, a member of the sorority that was chartered 10 years ago at UNCP. “We are open to all.”
The Genshiken Club, which celebrates Japanese culture, brought their own dragon to attract attention. “We started out with 10 members, and we have 40 now,” said Katrina Trevino. “We are trying to plan much more fun stuff for students this year.”
The Part-time Employment Fair is designed to help students financially, and many UNCP students like Javon Linney have worked their way through college and were looking for work again this year.
“The job I had on campus was phased out, so I’m looking to pay some bills,” Linney said. Gabrielle Noch, an elementary education major, had a long list of jobs on her resume.
“I’ve worked at Panera and as a nanny,” Noch said. “I’m having some luck today. Some employers are looking for specific skills.”
UNCP’s Division of Information Technology was looking for students with strong technology skills, said Liz Cummings. She was looking for several BraveTechs to help faculty and staff with their computer needs and several ResTechs to help with student needs.
Wilmington Police Department Lt. Ben Kennedy was looking to network with Criminal Justice majors to discuss future and current opportunities. Marty Murray of T-Mobile said she needed three part-time workers for “dream jobs” with potential for outstanding pay.
James Freeman of UNCP’s Thomas Center for Entrepreneurship was looking for interns to work in several programs, including the new Entrepreneurship Incubator.
“It’s a unique opportunity to see our operation from the ground floor,” Freeman said. “It is an experience that will build skills and resumes.”
Scott Bigelow is the public information officer for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.