By Sarah Pride
Patrick Henry College
On the afternoon of Friday, November 9 students entering Patrick Henry College’s Town Hall found an unusual sight. Instead of the normal rows of chairs arranged for morning chapel, an FBI display stood along one entire wall—complete with a chin-up station and actual tactical gear for students to try on. A series of tables encircled the rest of the room, each staffed by representatives from nearby Christian schools, think tanks, or other organizations seeking interns and employees. PHC’s second Career Fair was underway.
Marc C. Savine, Unit Chief for Strategic Planning in the FBI, came to recruit personally for two staff positions. He stood by the chin-up station with his young son, watching PHC students execute the “chin-up challenge,” twelve or more reps.
“I am very, very impressed with the student body and their publications, so I am here to recruit. However, the jobs have also been advertised publicly, so the process is competitive,” he cautioned.
Recognizing the competitive nature of many of the jobs PHC students most desire, Sandra Corbitt, Dean of Student Life, set up the Career Fair to give students valuable face-to-face time with potential employers.
“It’s good to practice talking to these individuals before you go in for a job interview,” she said. “It can be very difficult if you’ve had no prior interaction.”
Another organization, Prison Fellowship, deals with criminal justice reform and other ethical issues surrounding imprisonment. Faith Schwartz has worked for them since she graduated from PHC in 2005 with a major in Public Policy.
“It’s been a perfect fit for what I took away from Patrick Henry,” she said.
Prison Fellowship came to the Career Fair in search of new interns. When they attended the last Fair in the spring, they came away with at least one—Magnus Elhardt (’07).
“This is a great student body; we’d love to have interns for the summer,” said Robbie Keyes, the Fellowship representative.
Besides the FBI and Prison Fellowship, the slate of potential employers at the Career Fair included the Department of State, the U.S. Army, Young America’s Foundation, the Leadership Institute, the CG Koch Foundation, the Institute of World Politics in DC, McLean Bible Church (a 10,000-15,000 member mega-church), the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, and two Christian classical K-12 schools. As Dean Corbitt encouraged the students, no matter what their major, they would find something of value.
“It’s a good idea just to come down and walk through to let these people see what PHC students look like,” she smiled. “There is more involved even in intelligence jobs than guns and badges. Everyone wants people who can write well.”
Student Life plans to organize a Career Fair every fall, to give seniors time to apply for jobs before May graduation.