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Not Just Fun and Games: OU Esports Club to Host 3D Virtual Career Festival

Not Just Fun and Games: OU Esports Club to Host 3D Virtual Career Festival

screen shot of virtual career fair space

In the era of social distancing, virtual is the new normal. OU’s Esports Club is embracing this new realm to offer a unique opportunity for students hoping to land a job in the fast-growing esports industry.  

Together with Gamerjibe, a virtual events platform for the digital generation, the OU Esports Club will host a 3D Virtual Esports Career Festival from 7-9 p.m. May 18-22. The festival will feature panels in various segments each day from 7-9 p.m. and will include a career fair from 4-9 p.m. Wednesday, May 20. This platform represents an immersive tool that has many applications and signifies one of the first-ever virtual events to be executed like this in higher education.

“Early in the spring 2020 semester, I received an email from Gamerjibe about the possibility of hosting a virtual career fair,” said OU Esports Club lead adviser Michael Aguilar. “Within five minutes of the pitch, I was hooked and knew it would be a great opportunity for our members and others in any industry.”

The 3D Virtual Career Fair will look and feel like a video game but will facilitate many of the same opportunities presented at a traditional career fair. Each player – or attendee – will have an avatar that can walk and browse the virtual trade show floor. At least eight companies will host “booths,” where players can visit, download literature, listen to presenters in real time and speak face-to-face with company representatives.

“This opportunity is something that’s never been offered before,” said Callie Simonton, who is pursuing a graduate certificate from the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Price College of Business. “For someone who’s been wanting to get into esports and the media business world, a career fair that’s very specific to that industry, especially one that is online during these hard times, is an opportunity that’s unmatched for students to find a place in the workforce – especially considering that esports is such a new industry.”

Aguilar emphasized the importance of the work Gamerjibe is doing and the magnitude of opportunities presented by virtual events, not only during the pandemic but in the years to come.

“With the recent changes to physical events, having a digital solution is absolutely necessary now for way more applications than initially thought,” Aguilar said. “This will be a revolutionary event – not only as a response for current global impacts but for any event that needs immersive, virtual functionality.”

The OU Esports Club, a student organization for competitive and casual gamers alike, was created less than four years ago and has since grown to more than 1,100 members. Its purpose is to develop intercollegiate competitive teams to represent OU, create media and news for general consumption, and develop professionals for the ever-growing gaming and esports industry segments.

“During the last four years, I’ve never had an appropriate answer to career placement opportunities,” said Aguilar. “The industry as a whole in the United States isn’t quite mainstream yet, but as the topic gains more and more traction on university campuses, resources like career services, recruitment or anyone coordinating events and gatherings should take it into account. It’s no longer about just having esports in higher education. It’s about what you do with it and the opportunities you provide its members.”

To better understand how the career fair will work, attendees can participate in a live demo at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 12. Gamerjibe representatives and Aguilar will explain the different features of the platform and answer questions.

For more information, or to register for the event, visit the OU Esports Club webpage.

By Mackenzie Schee

Article Published: Wednesday, May 6, 2020