Gradfest aims to help students post-graduation

While students focus on their day-to-day lives, one group on campus has the future looming overhead: seniors. Anxieties about graduation and what to do after college often fill minds as they receive continual reminders of that milestone ceremony in May.

One key event during seniors’ remaining time is Gradfest.

This year, Alumni Affairs and Career Services joined Gradfest with another event, the Career Fair, so students can prepare for graduation with cap and gown photos but also for life after receiving a diploma.

“We’re combining [the events] to target more students,” said Randi Washington, assistant director of Career Services. “It’s not always convenient to [have two events]. We felt that combining the two would work to our students’ advantage.”

“Students want to hear the real-world application about what’s next and what to expect,” said Van Erickson, associate director of Alumni Affairs.

Gradfest, set for Feb. 6, consists of keynote speakers Virginia Monceret and Wil Adams – both of which are NSU alumni – as well as workshops, portraits and a browse of more than 20 potential employers and graduate schools. Jostens will also be present for students to order caps, gowns, stoles, rings and graduation announcements.

Erickson also spoke about NSU’s networking platform,

The website was started a year and a half ago and declares four pillars: connect, engage, give and advance.

“The whole premise of the platform is to put students and alumni together on the same networking platform so they can post jobs, internships and [so much more],” Erickson said.

demoNSUnite includes a directory searchable by location and field, job openings, and a “willing to help” designation that allows members to show on their profile if they are interested in helping others network, host an event, help recruit or act as a mentor.

“[NSU doesn’t] have a job portal like some other universities, so that’s what [Career Services] has been using the website for,” Washington said.

In preparation for Gradfest and Career Fair, Career Services is also hosting Career Fair Week Jan. 29 – Feb. 2 concentrated on three workshops: “Building a Resume,” “LinkedIn 101” and “Navigating Networking at Career Fair.” Multiple sessions of each workshop will be held throughout the week in the President’s Room of the Friedman Student Union.

“I believe in students knowing how to market themselves, and we need to equip the students with what they need [to do that],” Washington said.

Gradfest will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Union. To RSVP, visit and search “Spring 2018 NSU Gradfest & Career Fair.”

Additional help from Counseling and Career Services can be found in Room 306 of the Student Union or online at