Nearly 150 employers and 500 company representatives have signed up to attend the Business Horizons career fair of the Pamplin College of Business on Thursday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in Squires Student Center’s Commonwealth and Old Dominion ballrooms.

“This is the Super Bowl event of college recruiting,” says Stuart Mease, Pamplin’s director of undergraduate career advancement and employer relations. “Students will not be able to create these opportunities on their own.”

Last year, more than 2,000 Pamplin students attended the fair, now in its 32nd year. Six Pamplin majors are routinely among the 12 majors most sought after by recruiters visiting campus, according to the university’s Career Services office. 

Business students and employers get to meet and interact informally in one central location, says Mease, who says that the event will be followed by formal interviewing by more than 50 companies the next day.

Mease produces an e-newsletter, "Pamplin Career Connect," and has published "The Perfect Job Seeker," a step-by-step guide to the job search.

He suggests that students get ready by downloading the Business Horizons mobile app to research companies and attending the workshop, "How to Prepare for a Job Fair," that he will be teaching on Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 5 p.m. in Pamplin 1045.

“A job seeker will have no better opportunity to meet face-to-face with hundreds of company representatives,” he says. “To reproduce the environment of a job fair will take many months to orchestrate. That’s why the job fair is still the best job search tool for seekers.”

Jack O’Donnell, of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, the fair’s student leader and a senior majoring in accounting and finance, agrees. "Business Horizons takes away the hassle of spending an extensive period of time online searching for a job,” he says.

The Pamplin College also hosts a series of “Company Days in the Atrium” in the fall and spring semesters to give students and employers additional occasions to connect Encouraging students to take advantage of the meeting opportunities, Mease says, “as you come to and from class, stop by these employer tables. It’s informal. You don’t need to wear a suit, just come and talk.”

A 2010 Wall Street Journal employer survey ranked Virginia Tech as the 13th best place for college recruiting.