Opinion: My Pioneer Experience let-down

One student weighs in on the Pioneer Career and Experience Fair

Last Monday I attended the Pioneer Experience Fair and Career Day.

The Pioneer Fair was made out to be this huge event with lots of different things to do. According to the UW-Platteville Updates all-campus e-mail, it was supposed to “connect students with faculty and staff who are involved with opportunities for experiential learning and with students who have participated in these opportunities.”  We were told that this event was made to reach out to transfer students and first-year students.

In reality, it consisted of five rooms in Ottensman hall with people standing around doing absolutely nothing and others giving what seemed, because of the set-up, to be almost totally random presentations.  Awkwardly, to even enter the Experience Fair, we had to disrupt people during a presentation just to go into the rooms.

Professors said this would be a great, eye-opening event. Many professors and staff bombarded us in class and via e-mail to go.  I chose to accompany a friend whose attendance was required for a class. What we encountered was boring and disorganized.

Speaking of disorganized… the Career Fair, which ran at the same time, may be the most unorganized event that I have ever been to.

There was no clear indication what company and what majors went together. They had a color sticker system that was supposed to help show what majors they were trying to reach out to, but not all companies used their stickers. If you are going to have a system, all companies should use it, not just some of them.

“It was difficult to find companies that were similar to your major, and once you found them, it took forever to talk to the company because of the long lines,” fourth-year Ag Business major Lexey Hammerly said.  

The aisles of the Career Fair gave attendees about five feet of space for people to walk in between. How are you supposed to be talking to employers and be able to walk through and look at booths if you only have a baby amount of space?  Meanwhile, the people in line to talk to representatives from John Deere had to wait over an hour.  

The Career Fair also seemed mainly focused on engineering and agricultural majors. It’s true that other disciplines, such as education or criminal justice, have their own career fairs, but why wasn’t this stated?

Both of these events failed to meet my expectations.