Job Expo provides students with professional contacts

With the economy in a recession and many Americans finding themselves unemployed, it may seem to be more difficult than ever for students to find a job after graduation.

Career Services, however, helped students get a head start on the job search yesterday at the 2002 Spring Job Expo. The career fair was held in the Simon Recreation Center from noon to 5 p.m.

The event is designed to give students and alumni looking for full-time jobs, summer jobs or internships the chance to learn more about available career opportunities. It is also an opportunity to practice skills needed in the professional world, as well as make contacts that may eventually lead to a career.

About 50 businesses were represented at the expo, including well-known companies such as Coca-Cola Enterprises, Commerce Bank, Edward Jones, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, SBC Communications, Inc., St. John’s Mercy Medical Center and AmerenUE.

Companies offered a variety of positions, from teaching positions in Houston and Columbia, Mo., to pharmacists, to Arch tour guides, to account managers, customer-service representatives and financial representatives.

The fair was well attended, bringing in more than 200 students in the first hour it was open, said Director of Career Services Kathy Day.

While some students went to the event to find that perfect career, others went merely to scope out their possibilities and see what kind of jobs are open to students.

“There really are not many companies here offering jobs related to my major, which is communication, but I came to see what was out there, what businesses are hiring,” said senior Katie Hanson.

“I’m just trying to keep my options open,” agreed senior Katie Doggendorf, also a communication major. “Hopefully I can find something in a related field.”

Although some students may have been unsure of what they were looking for, businesses such as Group360 Communications had the standards set for the ideal employee. Group360 Communications specializes in visual communications, producing and creating visuals for merchandising, tradeshows and multimedia, said Senior Account Executive Jack Curran.

Chuck Michel, executive vice president of Group360, is a Saint Louis University alumnus who was looking for students who are passionate about their jobs, good at developing relationships and sales driven.

He also stressed that they were seeking potential candidates who are good at communicating ideas, meeting deadlines and who get a real sense of accomplishment after finishing a project.

“We want someone who is not afraid to go outside the dots, think outside the box,” Michel said. “I’m very impressed with the talent here at SLU.”

Upcoming events that Career Services has planned include:

 School of Social Service Career/Practicum Fair on Tuesday, Feb. 5, from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Busch Memorial Center.

 “Deciding is OK” for students who are deciding or unsure about their major, on Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Academic Resource Center.

 Early Bird Education Networking Fair, for education majors in the Argentum Room of the BMC on Thursday, March 7, from 3:30 to 7 p.m.

 Health Care Career Fair on Thursday, March 21, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the School of Allied Health’s multipurpose room.