Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Students make connections and internship and job fair

By Amy Jones, Guest Writer

High student attendance marked this year’s Internship and Job Fair on Oct. 25. Pacific Lutheran University invited more than 50 employers to showcase employment opportunities.

Sponsored by Career Connections, the fair hosted companies from all over the country, including the Franciscan Health System and document management corporation Xerox.

Junior Farah Schumacher, a nursing student, discusses possible career opportunities at the Internship and Job Fair on Oct. 25 with Jenny Zarelli, a recruiter for the kidney care provider company DaVita.  “It was definitely an eye-opening opportunity to get to talk to people from all these different organizations,” Schumacher said. Photo by Erica Moen.

Brandon DeJong, Career Connections marketing assistant, said quite a few booths were manned by alumni. These included the kidney care provider DaVita and a startup company founded by former Lutes called Quotewizard.com, which sends estimated quotes on publicity campaigns to various companies.

Quotewizard.com entreprenuer Scott Peyree said starting the business  “was a little rough, but amazing, too.”

Attendance at the Internship and Job Fair increased by 10 percent from the last year, DeJong said.

More than  400 students registered for the fair, Bobbie Hughes, executive director of Career Connections, said.

Publicity for the fair included a poster campaign and efforts to personally communicate with students. Hughes said Career Connections sent out multiple emails to ensure attendance would be higher than usual.

Career Connections also promoted its resume-writing workshops and other services before the fair. It incorporated a promotion that rewarded the first 200 students to register — they were given official nametags for the fair and a coupon redeemable for a slice of Farrelli’s pizza.

First-year Isaac Collins attended the fair and left with a potential interview. “It’s exciting,” Collins said. “Really intimidating, but exciting.”

The Internship and Job Fair has a record of helping students network and gain employment. DeJong is a PLU alum and credits his participation in last year’s fair for his employment with the university. DeJong said another alum, Amy Larsen,  achieved employment at State Farm as a result of the fair.

Students swiped in their ID cards at the entrance of the Anderson University Center to record their attendance. Before leaving, they also filled out exit surveys.

Collins said he was grateful for the opportunity to network. “It was great for getting experience,” Collins said.