Professionals and recruiters fill ballroom for annual Career Fair


Freshmen Atarrah Kelly, biology major, and Rachelle Connors, nursing major, ask questions to Army recruiters SSgt AnnKatherine McIver and SSgt Anthony Salame at the Career Fair in the Ballroom, April 1.

Jene ThomasGeneral Assignment Reporter 

As the room filled with local and national organizations, students like Alexa Adams, sophomore, were given the opportunity to speak with professionals who might give some insight as to what jobs are available for college students.

“I’m up in the air on what I want to do,” Adams said. “I hope to learn about new careers out there. I’m not at that point where I’m ready to hand out resumes but I want to see what’s out there.”

career fair-3With help from the Career Services department, Southern Connecticut State University hosted its annual Career Fair in the Adanti Student Center Ballroom on April 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. Students were asked to dress in business casual attire as professionals sought out potential new candidates for employment. The Career Fair brought in a range of organizations from the local public school districts to the United States Peace Corps.

Speaking on their behalf, former Peace Corps. volunteer Shannon McBride wanted to share a viable option for students upon graduation.

“We look for people who are really motivated,” said McBride. “Know that this is a golden opportunity for American citizens to do. You get to travel the world, you get to do some good in it, while also making yourself more of a competitive candidate for a very competitive world.”

The Peace Corps offers a 27-month travel experience to a developing area, where volunteers would enrich the community with services and assistance in the fields of technology, healthcare and education. As funded by the U.S government, the Peace Corps provides for monthly living expenses, as well as a pre-adjustment allowance of nearly $8800 when seeking full time employment.

Student unsure of opportunities were greeted by popular national organization in all field. The U.S. Marine Corp and the U.S Army were present, as well as the Skechers shoe company and Frontier Communications. The business sales division of Staples searched for students who could represent customer needs out of more than one store.

career fair-2

Joel Valcin, senior liberal studies major, talks with Elizabeth Melillo, an assistant store manager at Sketchers, during the Career Fair in the Ballroom, April 1.

The wide range of employers at the career fair allowed students who weren’t fully aware of what they wanted to do a chance to explore, even if that meant reaching out to local communities. New Haven Public Schools, Ansonia Public Schools and local universities were present, as well as regional insurance companies and healthcare providers.

“I just want to know what my options are,” said Shannon Thomas, senior psychology major.

Despite the various career fields, the recruiters sought out individuals who were well rounded, independent and ready to learn. Upon entrance to the career fair, Career Services displayed life-size posters to help show ideal candidate characteristics, such how to dress for the job with both “how-to” and “how-not-to” examples.

“I’m looking for people that are leaders that are outgoing and want to help other people and eventually be successful,” said Jason Phillips of First Investors.

When students were finished, they were asked to exit to left of the entrance where a few more employers sat, as well as career services. Students were asked to fill out a quick survey of the event and if they knew they options and services of the career center, followed by complementary cookies.

Whether students were aware of what they wanted to do or not, Peter Ramsey of New York Life wanted them to leave with one thing in mind.

“I hope they find a career,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be with me, I just hope they find a career. There’s a difference between a job and a career. A job is something you do, but a career is something you love and do for the rest of your life.”

Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas

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