Making Connections at the Career Fair

The fear of finding a job after graduation is a fear every student experiences at least once. However, students were able to attend the annual Career Fair last Tuesday at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse. At this year’s event, there were 34 companies and all were offering a multitude of jobs, ranging between part-time and full-time positions. Although most companies were looking for students with specific skills, chatting with them showed they had places for a multitude of different majors.

Dr. Marie Lohsandt, Director of Career Services/Associate VP of Student Affairs, mentioned, “The career fair is all about making connections.” Students might not leave with a job, but multiple different companies will leave with the student and their resume in mind.

Some companies were very specific in the qualities a full or part time worker should exhibit.

Kristl Bryant, representative of Sioux Falls VA Health Care System, said, “Students need to have good personal management skills and experience.”

Others gave some good advice on qualities every student should have in mind when being interviewed.

Diane Lameyer and Deb VanLaar, representatives of CAPITAL Card Services, said, “Students need to be friendly and make eye contact during an interview. They also need to be confident and have some company knowledge.”

Some focused on how important the career fair was for the students.

Catheryn Vogel, former graduate of DSU, was at the career fair on Tuesday with the company 44 Interactive. Speaking from experiences, she mentions, “It is so important for students to talk to every company.”

When speaking on interviewing prospective employees, Catheryn said, “They need to have a professional attitude and be willing to get out there.”

Although the Career Fair is an excellent place for companies to seek out potential employees, the students attending are the ones really benefiting from the event.

Most of the students were taking a step toward possible internships and were planning on returning next year. Ashley Burtz was one such student, and was using the event to hand out her eye-catching resume.

Ashley, a Graphic Design Sophomore, wasn’t looking for a job but hoped to learn what kind of companies hired people in her major. She said, “I’m here to look for opportunities and to get my name out there, and I’m surprised at how many places have Graphic Design positions.”

Adam Kost, recent graduate of DSU, hoped for more than a learning experience. Adam, Masters of Science in Information Systems, said, “I’m hoping to pass out my resume and receive some job leads.”

While the Career Fair is an excellent way for students to get a kick start on their futures, it isn’t the only opportunity presented by Career Services.

Dr. Lohsandt stated, “The sooner students connect with us, the sooner we can help them.”

Career Services offers anything from resume workshops to mock interviews to on-campus interviews. For students interested in attending another job fair, there will be one in the spring of 2013 in Sioux Falls and an on-campus summer job fair later in the spring semester.

Photos taken by Tiffany Sommer

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