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Students and alumni search for jobs at the fair
Story by Sara Wesselmann, UNI University Relations online magazine and public relations assistant
What do you get when you pack 123 employers and hundreds of eager students and alumni looking for jobs into the University of Northern Iowa McLeod Center? The 2010 Fall Career Fair! There, attendees made connections with businesses, networked with professionals and gained hands on experience in their quest for internships, fulltime jobs and continuing education.
Businesses from The Hershey Company to The Des Moines Register, to accounting firms like McGladrey & Pullen and Kiesling Associates, exhibited at the fair.
Taryn Parker, UNI senior public relations major and marketing minor, who plans to graduate in May, attended the fair to make connections, discover new companies, practice speaking with professionals and get her name out in the job market.
"I am sure that I am not alone when I say that I am very nervous about the state the job market is currently in, so attending the career fair and making those connections with future employers definitely put my mind at ease a little bit," said Parker. "There really are great companies out there that are looking to hire!"
Despite the overwhelming experience of searching for jobs, the career fair has provided contacts for students and alumni.
"Red Frog, an event planning company based out of Chicago, was talked up a lot before the fair. I am not necessarily interested in event planning as a career, but it did pique my curiosity and I ended up having a great conversation with their representatives," said Parker.
While many students are hoping to land jobs at the career fair, many are also looking to obtain internships to build their resume and gain experience for potential jobs in the future.
Philip Musson, sophomore management: human resources major and Spanish minor, was searching for internship positions to gain an advantage in his field.
"I feel that attending the fair gives me a huge advantage over people who don't go. It gives you great opportunities to network and get your resume out, and also so recruiters recognize you. The more times you go, the better off you will be. Even if they say they don't want to hire me because I'm only a sophomore, it's still someone I can go back to later and at least I will have talked to them before," said Musson.
As many attendees landed interviews, many students look ahead to the Spring Fair in February.
"I feel like I gained more confidence from talking to different recruiters and giving out my resume. I will definitely go back in the spring," said Musson.