Fall McCombs Career Expo faced with technical challenges, postpones second day

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Photo Credit: Rocky Higine | Daily Texan Staff

Technical difficulties during the first day of the fall McCombs Career Expo caused some students to miss opportunities with recruiters and led to the postponement of the second day.

The career expo allows business students to speak to recruiters from a variety of firms across the country. This fall’s expo was hosted through Brazen, a company that facilitates virtual recruiting opportunities, according to their website. McCombs communications director Catenya Mchenry said an alternative event is being planned, and the technical difficulties are being investigated.

Joe Matar, Brazen's vice president of marketing, said the company releases updates to its software every two weeks after testing, but it was difficult to simulate the increase in capacity. He said once Brazen was aware of the issues, a fix was officially released around 8:30 p.m., after the McCombs expo ended. 

“We actually had a really exciting new product release on the Saturday before the McCombs School of Business’ virtual career fair, increasing the capacity of the platform quite significantly,” Matar said.

Britney Trieu, supply chain management sophomore, said the program logged her in as other students even though she used her own username and password. 

“I restarted my computer multiple times and quit (Google) Chrome, and I logged back in, and each time it would tell me that I was a different person,” Trieu said. “It was just frustrating because I wanted to talk to the recruiter as if I were me and not (someone else).” 

 

Trieu said she also spent around 20 minutes waiting on the Brazen loading screen and waited for an hour and a half to speak with a recruiter.

“I lost a bunch of opportunities to really get to know more people from specific companies because I feel like getting to have those conversations is a big factor in knowing what kind of people work at that company,” Trieu said. 

Megna Arya, a management information systems sophomore, said she was put into two conversations with companies she was not in line for and waited between 45 minutes to an hour for recruiters she wanted to speak to. She said she got to speak with four of the seven companies she planned on meeting. 

“Whenever I had a video call, the call dropped and I would have to reconnect, or Brazen just stopped working,” Arya said. “In almost every single one of my interactions, I had technical difficulties.”

Yoann Dequin, a management information systems senior, said the video call function often failed, and the chat function for the program either had delays or never sent messages to the recruiter. Dequin said he was able to talk to the five recruiters he wanted to talk to. 

“There were also random chat windows that would open, and they just put us into rooms we didn’t sign up for,” Dequin said. “And our account information would switch, so at some point I was a different student.”

Trieu said she believes a virtual recruitment fair through Brazen could be effective, as it’s possible to attach a résumé and LinkedIn profile to a student’s account.

“I am just hoping they sort out their difficulties and have recruiters talk to the right people,” Trieu said.