The Career Fest Kick-Off was held on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 12 p.m. at the Student Center Terrace hosted by the UC Irvine Career Center.
The fest was held to encourage students to attend the various month-long Career Fest panels in order to gain valuable information about careers, including the chance to network with professionals.
UCI Career Center Interim Director Linda Drake was pleased with the outcome of the fest.
“The highlight of the Career Fest was the excitement that the student organizations were able to create with the audience. We’d love for that excitement to carry on — with the hope that our students will find a career panel that best fits their interests,” Drake said.
During the fest, dance groups such as Modern Completely Insane Anteaters (MCIA), BBoys Anonymous and Informatics Student Association (INSA) performed their dance routines in front of the pumped-up crowd.
The organization with the most applause would receive a prize giveaway and zealous students held up their “Dream Big” Career Center buttons.
DJ Time Machine (UCI alum, Kyle Dineen) and DJ Yooney Tunes (fourth-year economics major Alex Yoon) provided music during the afternoon.
Fourth-year English major Hai Truong said, “Career Fest makes you well-rounded. I think you need to be aware of what options you have. It’s like a buffet — you take a little entree here and there, and see what you like.”
Various groups and organizations on campus participated to encourage students, especially those graduating from UCI to take advantage of the Career Center resources and attend the panels which will include recruiters and experienced career professionals in a variety of exciting fields of interest.
Some of the panels include: Bio-Technology and Science (Feb. 9 at 5 p.m.), Human Resources Spotlight (Feb. 18 at 12 p.m.) and Writing and Journalism (Feb. 10 at 5 p.m.).
To start the kick-off, UCI Career Center Marketing Coordinator, Tiffany Schivley welcomed anteaters to the annual Career Fest and spoke about various career opportunities available to students.
The microphone was then handed to fourth-year English major, Hai Truong from Student Achievement Guided by Experience (SAGE) Scholars who beat-boxed his way to stage as he introduced a dating game involving career decisions and a perplexed “Susie Search” hoping to find the right “career match” best suitable for her lifestyle.
MCIA gave a brief preview of their Vibe showcase set as they danced to “Teeth” by Lady GaGa and “Breaking Dishes” by Rihanna.
After a brief interlude, INSA dance group performed to M.I.A.’s songs.
The last hip-hop dance group to perform was BBoys Anonymous, which amazed the audience with back flips and artful dance techniques.
The judges included the UCI Career Center staff: Drake, Graduate School Counselor Christine Kelly and Pre-Law Advisor Bob Gomez.
The day ended with the last presentation from Pre-Law society and a warm “thank you” for those that participated and showed their support.
“The Career Fest was awesome. There was a great turnout. I really liked the contest idea. It was a nice touch for clubs involved. The performances were awesome,” said fourth-year biological sciences major and BBoys Anonymous member, Vincent Ngo.
Career Center Marketing Coordinator Tiffany Schivley said, “Career Fest is something quite unique at UCI. It gives students the opportunity to explore their options and meet professionals who are living the life – and to really see what it’s really like and how they got there and what path they had to take to get to the position.”
“It allows people to see that their major doesn’t always equal career. Sometimes you get professionals in top positions in various industries and they might not have started that way as an undergrad. So there’s definitely some flexibility in your career and there are a lot of options out there,” Schivley said.
Some of the campus organizations co-hosting this year’s panels are Pre-Law Society, SAGE scholars and INSA among various others.
“I feel like Career Fest is going to be a really big event this year because we have a lot of great panelists and people coming out to support the event,” Marketing Outreach
Coordinator at the UC Irvine Career Center Marisa Mantell said. “I think that students should really come out because it honestly allows you to get one step towards the door to your potential career. I mean, where else can you find opportunities to meet with all these professionals at one place at one time? And they are here willingly to help.”
Students interested in attending a panel catered to their career needs, should stop by the UCI Career Center or RSVP on Zotlink under the workshops tab on the Career Center Web site at www.career.uci.edu.