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Saturday, October 23, 2021

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Proximity is a new way for students to interact with career fairs on campus. Proximity is a new way for students to interact with career fairs on campus.

Connecting to Careers

A new mobile app connects students and recruiters at on-campus career fairs.

San Diego State University's Career Services offers students the opportunity to connect with potential employers through several on-campus career fairs during the year.

But time is limited, and it’s running out. The last career fair of the spring semester, dubbed "Just in Time Career Fair," runs from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Thursday, April 24 on Centennial Walkway.

For students juggling full course loads, internships, jobs and other campus activities, it can be difficult to make time for a career fair. Additionally, a lack of knowledge about the companies tabling at the fair can waste time for both students and recruiters.

Enter the Proximity Careers mobile application.

How it works

Developed by SDSU Engineering Professor Mahasweta Sarkar and colleagues, the software and corresponding mobile application helps students maximize their time at a career fair by matching the student’s resume to a similar profile created by the recruiter.

Students log in using their name and Red ID, and the app displays a full list of companies presenting at the fair along with a short description of each one. The app’s "Match Me" tab eliminates companies that don't fit a student's major, interests or specializations and displays a "short list" of recruiters looking for expertise that matches the particular student's skill sets.

Additionally, the app displays the location of the recruiters' booths on a map to help students navigate the fair more efficiently.

The app can be downloaded on the app store or on the Proximity website. It is available for both Android and iOS operating systems and is the first campus career fair technology of its kind.

Positive feedback

Simranpreet Narang, a computer science graduate student, used Proximity at a recent career fair and experienced the benefits firsthand.

"It was the best utilization of the 20 minutes that I could afford to spend at the fair," he said. "Proximity took away the need to do my homework before I attend a career fair."

Recruiters are also keen to see students using Proximity.

"When a student is directed to us by the Proximity Careers app, we know that we will be spending our time talking to the right individual," said Amanda Botkin, a recruiter from Leidos. "It helps us manage the crowd at our booth efficiently by catering to students who best fit our hiring requirements."

Download and win

To encourage students to download and use the app, the Proximity team will be giving out 10 $25 Starbucks or Aztec Shops gift cards — awarding one gift card after every 200 downloads. Once the app reaches 3,000 downloads, the team will draw a grand prize winner from the pool of 3,000 downloaders for the chance to win an iPad.

Students must download the app and login with their RED ID and last name for a chance to enter the raffle or there will be no record of who downloaded the app.

Download and log into the app for your chance to win.