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Career fair offers direction, opportunities

Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2014 00:02


Heran Guan

Matthew Lathrop, Class of 2001, interviews senior communication major Tyler Howdeshell at the Liberal Arts Career Fair Wednesday afternoon in Rudder Exhibit Hall.


Heran Guan

Senior marketing major Jeff Beseda, an employee at HCSS, interviews an applicant.

As booths for 61 companies filled Rudder Exhibit Hall on Wednesday, the crowd of students and companies represented at the College of Liberal Arts spring career fair served to illustrate the growth that the event has experienced in recent years.

“When we started to emphasize the career fair three years ago, we had about 30 to 31 companies,” said Don Curtis, assistant dean of liberal arts. “So we’ve basically doubled in three years, which is really neat.”

Cameron Hunter, senior political science major, said he wasn’t sure what to expect of the career fair, but hopes to receive a job offer from one of the companies.

“I’ve heard mixed reviews on career fairs,” Hunter said. “I’ve heard they’re a waste of time but I’ve also heard that they’re a great opportunity to meet a whole lot of people so hopefully something good comes up.”

Hunter said this is a crucial time to attend career fairs for students with a fast-approaching graduation date such as himself.

“It’s pretty important, given that this is one of the last opportunities before I become a former student, to attain their interest,” Hunter said. “I have these freshmen and sophomores that are also fighting for these
same opportunities.”

Marisa Rios, freshman communication major, was one of the many underclassmen looking for workforce experience. Rios said she attended the career fair to give direction to her future job hunt.

“I want to get my foot in the door because I don’t want to be waiting until the last second to try to find a job,” Rios said. “I figured it’s good to check out what the companies are offering so far as internships and whether these companies fit what I’m looking for.”

Rios said she will be better prepared for the next career fair she attends.

“In the future, I’ll definitely research companies a lot more,” Rios said. “I feel like I would be better able to hold a conversation with some of the people at these booths had I known what they offer beforehand.”

Leesa McElroy, a recruiter for Zale Corporation, said researching the company beforehand is something recruiters want to see from students so they can hold a more productive, informed conversation.

McElroy said Zale Corporation has a great track record of recruiting Aggies, with many now holding senior positions in
the corporation.

“We’ve been doing it this way and coming to A&M for over 10 years so we’ve had great success,” McElroy said. “Our SVP of financial products is an Aggie and our chief information officer is an Aggie. One of our directors of merchandising for our bridal department, which is our largest volume department, is an Aggie grad that I recruited here about 10
years ago.”

Julianne Daniel, Class of 1996 and recruiter for a medical records collection company Legal Monkeys, said she enjoyed returning to campus as a possible employer for Aggies.

“This is our first time to ever attend [a career fair at A&M] and we’re super pleased,” Daniel said. “The people that we’ve met are phenomenal candidates and we’ll definitely come back. I just enjoy being around Aggies. It’s a great environment.”

Curtis said the Texas A&M Career Center offers services to teach students how to construct a resume and dress professionally for the career fair.

“I’ll put our students up against anybody in terms of preparation,” Curtis said. “I’ve heard from the employers and the recruiters that are here that our students are very well turned out, they’re very professional, so it’s a real credit to the career center and to our students that they’ve been able to do that.”


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