WSU’s major & career fair moves to Zoom

WSU’s major & career fair moves to Zoom

McKenna Scherer, Editor-in-Chief

Winona State University’s annual Major and Career Exploration Fair was held partially online this year from Oct. 12 through Oct. 16.

The fair offers Winona State students the opportunity to connect with faculty, staff and other students from various academic departments to learn about different majors and careers.

The Warrior Success Center (WSC) hosts the event every year.

Due to COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions this school year, the event was offered both virtually via Zoom and in-person.

Amy Meyer, an academic advisor and career counselor in the WSC, said the WSC recognized the need to provide students with various options for the event.

Meyer said that the school and faculty know students are all in different places right know with their education during the pandemic, sometimes literally.

“Some students have chosen to study completely online this semester, some even from home,” Meyer said. “Others are fatigued with the amount of programming now offered online. Regardless of each student’s situation, information about academic majors and careers is vital to their success.”

More than 20 departments participated in the fair either online or in person, including nursing, psychology, recreation and tourism/therapeutic recreation and mass communication.

26 departments participated in the online fair and 14 were part of the in-person fair.

The WSC had a team specifically for planning the event.

Meyer said that the team’s first step was reaching out to the academic departments to survey interest and willingness to participate in the online fair, in-person fair or both.

“We were very pleased with the enthusiasm of the academic departments to offer both,” Meyer said.

Meyer also credited this year’s successful week-long Major and Career Fair to the collaboration throughout the university.

George Micalone, director of the Student Union and Student Activities, Elizabeth Berres, web communications lead for Winona State’s marketing and communications team and Chad Kjorlien, a faculty member of Teaching, Learning and Technology (TLT) Services were also heavily in- volved in the fair’s planning and execution.

One of the larger changes made to the fair besides it’s partial move to online was the assistance offered through the Online Fair Help Desk.

Acknowledging there may be issues for some using Zoom in the online fair, the help desk was created to assist students and faculty if they had questions during it.

The help desk was manned by Charlie Opatz, an academic advisor and career counselor in the WSC, alongside Amy Meyer.

Meyer said a few students utilized the help desk and were assisted by her and Opatz.

Roughly 60 students attended the Major and Career Exploration Week that the fair spearheaded, split between the online and in-person events.