Jump Start for Job Search at DSU Career Fair

Dan Crisler

The world can be a big, bad, scary place for people fresh out of college. Especially for those who graduated without having a job lined up. To avert this possible disaster, the DSU Career Services department, headed by Career Services director Dr. Marie Lohsandt, sponsored the fourth annual Career Day last Thursday at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse.There were a multitude of employers at the event, 37 to be exact. The event appealed to all majors, although the majority of the employers were specifically looking for business and IT majors. These included heavyweights such as Avera McKennan hospital, Target, Stinger Ghaffian Technology (EROS Data Center) and Kraft Foods Inc. Many of these employers were offering full-time jobs. Some were offering summer internships. Then there are those who were offering both.

Stinger Ghaffian Technology representative Tom Earley said, “We’ve got quite a few resumes. We’ve been looking for interns and full-time job applicants.”

Others were not offering specific positions so much as they were trying to drum up interest in their company.

“We don’t have a lot of pre-hiring. We come here to spread the word,” Avera-McKennan representative Michael Ingalls (a distant relative to the Laura Ingalls clan) said. “We want to show people that hospitals aren’t just doctors and nurses.”

So while the event seemed to be a ripe and enjoyable recruiting ground for the employers, there is another demographic to please in order for the event to be successful: the students.

DSU students prepare to register and meet ideal job prospects. Photo by Tiffany Sommer

Most of them had high words of praise. Tina Peng was one of them, although she did offer a suggestion for improvement.

“I was surprised at how the school pulled in so many companies. I do wish there were more marketing opportunities,” she said.

Senior Catheryn Vogel, looking a job in either media or social strategies, saw the career fair as something more than just a chance to land a position.

“Even if I don’t get a job, it’s been good to network with different companies and people,” she said.

Other students shared her opinion.

Matt Mallard, a Wells Fargo Retirement Technology hopeful, stated, “(The career fair) is great. There are a lot of people to talk to with a lot of information.”

But regardless of the feel good nature exhibited by the students and the employers at the event, deep down it is a competition for jobs.

“We get ten resumes and sometimes it only takes one,” Life Investor Financial Group sales representative and DSU graduate Jordan King said.

While Thursday’s career fair was an excellent opportunity to get a start on the future, it is not the only one. There will be another job fair in the spring of 2012, said Dr. Lohsandt, although that event will be hosted in Sioux Falls.  And for students interested in summer employment, there will be an on-campus summer job fair in March.

Dr. Lohsandt also wanted to remind students that Career Services also prepares students by hosting mock interview sessions and a variety of workshops (even one that practices a dining etiquette session) on campus. She also stated that between 30 and 50 companies across the year come to campus to interview potential student employees or conduct information sessions. No doubt all the information regarding these events will become available as they happen.

Photographs by Tiffany Sommer

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