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Scouting out the future at the Career Fair

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Whether you’re graduating soon, looking for a career, or still trying to figure out your major, the Career Fair offered students opportunities to check out their options and make some networking connections. “I’m not really sure what jobs are out there,” said Alison Reece, a sophomore in hospitality and tourism management from Utah. “Coming to the Career Fair gives me a good focus on my studies and that way I can have an end goal or idea of what I want to do with my major. I think the school should have more career fairs to give us more of an opportunity to see what’s out there and more employers could come.”Reece wandered through the Ballroom, stopping at booths with other students interested in the various fields and futures they are pursuing. Most booths touted big banners, Famous Amos cookies, and free pens to get students’ attention, but it was the recruiters and experts who had the most to offer students with their advice for the future. Matt Alex, Willamette University recruiter and admission counselor, told students about graduate schools, “I always say it’s all about their career goals – if a student’s career goals will be aided by going straight into grad school, then great. Let’s do it. If they want to explore for a while? Figure it out, then work for a little while.” Alex said more schooling is an investment in time and money for students and their wallets: “While undergrad is generally something still for everybody and is good for career investment, grad school is a big investment, and you want to be sure it’s going to aid you in your career pursuits.” As a plug for Willamette University, he added, “We don’t require work experience, so it’s totally fine if a student wants to come right from undergrad.” He continued, “We really want good students academically, obviously. We want students who have been involved in some aspect. We do want to see students with team experience, leadership experience, maybe an internship, and something that’s going to show they are going to be working well on a team. Our students are going to be working with real clients on real projects and we want to know they can handle it.” Employers also flocked to the Ballroom to recruit and inform students about their opportunities outside of academics. Places like the National Security Agency and Starwood Hotels and Resorts gave students an opportunity to chat, pass out business cards, and take home information for future job opportunities. The State of Hawaii was represented with a booth covered in pamphlets, stickers, and pens, but it was its environmental conservation volunteer program that caught the eye of Ike Smith, an undeclared freshman from Singapore. “Can people just sign up to volunteer for helping out?” he asked. The representative behind the booth smile and passed Smith a flier. “Yes. We send kids out with employees into the field to get experience in the ocean and on the land cleaning and preserving it. Sometimes you’ll be in an office but not much.” Opportunities like the Career Fair give students a chance to find experience, volunteer work, internships, jobs, or just see what the world has to offer.Uploaded March 11, 2015
Writer: Alyssa Walhood