Students explore career options at The 2021 Virtual Job Fair


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Students and employers came together for the Spring 2021 Virtual Career & Job Fair on March 18. More than 50 organizations offered hundreds of jobs to College of the Desert students and jobseeker turn-out was high. Organizers said 213 students registered for the fair and 136 participated, visiting virtual booths to learn about the available job and internship opportunities while engaging with recruiters in real-time.

The fair was presented by the Career & Workforce Solutions Center and connected students with job and career opportunities. Counselor Dr. Frank Ramirez noted they faced a particular challenge this year. “During the onset of COVID-19 and the cancellation of face-to-face activities, the staff and faculty of the Career and Workforce Solutions Center got creative with their programming and developed a recruiting event for students and employers that happened virtually. The Career Connections@COD was born as a result.”

Career Connections@COD is a series designed to bring employers and students together via Premier Virtual, an online format that provides an easy-to-use platform. Students were prompted to register and complete a profile before the event. Company biographies were provided for each employer, as well as their job offerings.

Participants were able to submit resumes, chat with the company representative and access links to the company website and job listings. “I was happily satisfied with how it was run. It was very convenient for me as an employer,” said Ramona de Los Reyes, the director at Sacred Heart Preschool.

As lockdowns ease and the vaccine becomes widespread, many organizations are returning to in-person activities. Employers were pleased with the turnout, reporting that booths were immediately busy upon opening.

“The fair just started, but students are pouring in, and we are definitely connecting with them,” said Dora Orona, a recruitment manager with Union Pacific Railroad.

US Customs and Border Protection representative John Mendoza was busy at his booth, “We’ve had 14 individuals in the first hour, with 5 of those submitting resumes,” said Mendoza.

The list of organizations seeking candidates included major establishments like Amazon, Union Pacific, US Bank and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Child and healthcare jobs were offered by Childcare Careers, Tenant Healthcare and the Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City.

Many jobs were available at local resorts, including Wyndham, Marriott, The Rowan by Kimpton and Omni Hotels. Riverside County, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration and the California Highway Patrol were represented by county and state administrations.

Riverside County has been a staunch supporter of the job fair and they had over forty positions to fill this year. Victoria Gonzalez, a human resources technician, talked with over a dozen viable candidates at the fair. “They would be a great asset to the County of Riverside team. We participated in the last College of the Desert job fair and will participate again if we are invited. It is always important to have a presence at local colleges and universities to get our positions seen by those that live in Riverside County.”

“It is always important to have a presence at local colleges and universities to get our positions seen by those that live in Riverside County.”

— Victoria Gonzalez, a human resources technician for Riverside County

“The Virtual 2021 Spring Career & Job fair was a total success!” said Ramirez. “We’ve already started the planning for our Summer 2021 Career & Job Fair, scheduled for Wednesday, July 14, 2021, via Premier Virtual.”

The Career and Workforce Solutions Center helped students prepare for the fair by presenting helpful seminars during the week leading up to the event. Monday’s workshop tutored students on resume writing, and Tuesday’s class instructed job seekers on how to network, developing and maintaining contacts that may lead to future jobs.

The center also runs the College of the Desert Job Hub, a site devoted to students seeking employment. There you will find dozens of workshops and informational sessions designed to educate students in all aspects of a successful job search. Students can have their resume critiqued, prepare for interviews, and receive tips on better presenting themselves to employers. These workshops are available during fall and spring semesters and students may sign up at,

Students are also encouraged to schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor at the Career and Workforce Solutions Center.