Senior Osaki Pokima is making sure he doesn’t miss out on making that one professional connection that could set the trajectory for his entire career.
The Florida Polytechnic University computer science major has been attending University-hosted and supported career and internship events since his sophomore year as he works to network, learn, and plan for life after graduation.
“Usually juniors are the ones that have the initiative to attend those career fair events, but even though I was in my sophomore year, I made the decision to attend anyway and seek those opportunities,” Pokima said.
After Pokima’s first career fair, he quickly landed an internship and gained perspective on the importance of building career connections.
“The more you do it, the more you learn what companies are looking for,” the Winter Garden native said. “It doesn’t really matter a lot what experience you have, but more about if you are willing to learn and how you can contribute to the environment of their workplace.”
Florida Poly provides many opportunities for students to connect with potential employers throughout the academic year in the form of career fairs, company recruitment visits to campus, and internships programs. The next big event is the fall Florida Poly Career Fair, set for 1-4 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Saddle Creek Logistics Commons inside the Innovation, Science, and Technology building.
According to Pairris Jones, associate director of career development at Florida Poly, career events not only provide students with connections to potential employers, but they also give them an opportunity to learn whether the job they are considering is right for them.
“Here at Florida Poly we want to make sure that students are connected with opportunities that align with their strengths and interests, so that they can utilize their skillset in an environment they really can enjoy,” Jones said. “I consider it a true honor to help students with their professional development and witness them evolve into better versions of themselves.”
Jones added that the University strives to build strong relationships with employers who have a demand for graduates in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. So far this semester, students have been able to meet on campus with employers like Duke Energy, Fantom Corporation, T-Mobile, and Universal Studios, among others.
The Office of Career Development at Florida Poly also provides guidance on platforms such as Handshake, the largest career community for students and recent graduates, which offers connections with employers that are currently hiring.
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