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Fall Career and Internship Fair gives students real world test

Amid a season of heavy presidential sparring over college graduates and employment rates, Ohio University Career and Leadership Development Center, formerly Career Services, hopes to reassure Ohio University students that jobs do exist.

On Tuesday, Sept. 25, the Career and Leadership Development Center will host the Fall Career and Internship Fair, an experience designed to help students gain an edge in the job market by networking with employers.

"(The Career Fair) brings the employers to campus to meet students and see how great our students are and the environment on campus is," said Christi Lee, recruiting coordinator for the Career and Leadership Development Center. "Professors can meet employers as well to help them get an idea of what companies are looking for."

The Fall Career and Internship Fair will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Baker University Center Ballroom. Students and alumni are welcome to attend.

"I'm going to the Career Fair in hopes of networking and meeting representatives of different companies and industries to figure out what I want to do after graduation," said Janessa Sambola, senior political science student.

According to Lee, representatives from more than 100 companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Limited Brands and Kraft Foods, are scheduled to participate.

Lee said the retail, business and engineering fields are flourishing in today's market and many corporations attending reflect that truth, but students of all majors will find benefit from the fair.

"All employers coming are unique," said Imants Jaunarajs, assistant dean for the Career and Leadership Development Center. "There are a lot of opportunities for all students. They are hiring folks across the board. It's really more about how students communicate their skills and experiences and how they can be effective within a company."

Students are required to dress in business professional attire and are encouraged to come early, have polished résumés and a student identification card.

In the days ahead of the fair, Lee recommends students visit the Career and Leadership Development Center Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to have their résumés critiqued and refined.

Jaunarajs advises students to develop a "60-second commercial or elevator pitch," with which they can approach recruiters and initiate a conversation using key characteristics about themselves such as year in school, personal and professional interests and major.

"Students should know how to present themselves," Lee said. "Be very confident in yourself, walk up and introduce yourself."

Attendees can also prepare for the fair by researching the corporations that appeal to them to ensure self-confidence and a more engaging dialogue.

"It is not helpful for students to walk around and say, 'Well, what do you do?'," Jaunarajs said. "Students will shine above the rest if they approach with a bit of advanced knowledge."

Students will have another opportunity to speak with prospective employers during spring semester at the Spring Career and Internship Fair on Feb. 19, while those with their eyes on education will have their chance to shine at the Teacher Recruitment Consortium on April 8.

For more information and a list of employers, log on to CareerLink (login required).