Career Services to host CareerLink fair

Jessie Hellmann

It may be hard to believe, but there will come a day when it’s time iron those big kid pants and leave the well-worn sweats at home. After three years of working for the Career Services Department, Katie Valentine said just that.

“Yeah, I have to find that big girl job,” she said.

The Career Services Department at USI is organizing another CareerLINK fair, which is open to all USI students of any major and any skill level.

CareerLINK has happened at USI for the past 10 years, with the past five to six years holding two fairs each. Vendors and companies from the surrounding area and from larger parent corporations send representatives to recruit prospective internship candidates and employees.

“We hear back from quite a number of students,” said Philip Parker, director of Career Services and Placement. “Students do come back and tell us, ‘Oh, I’ve got an internship lined up from one of the employers at the fair.'”

Parker said students also hear back from employers saying they have hired a USI graduate they met at the fair.

Besides offering job and internship opportunities, CareerLINK will also have representatives from law and graduate schools for those students looking to keep hitting the books and further their education. A complete list of companies and graduate schools is available on the Career Services website.

A few business fraternities and honor societies on campus are getting involved with the fair and providing services to help fellow students with networking opportunities. Beta Alpha Psi, an international accounting honor society will be helping out with promotion, set-up, student check-in, info and various other tasks to help the event run smoothly. The business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi will run a photo booth to take professional headshots that students can use on their Facebook and LinkedIN accounts.

LinkedIN is a professional networking site that connects employers, employees and friends. The site connects friends and co-workers to each other’s employers and users can reference one another’s skills and abilities in the work place, said Bobi Miller, recruiting supervisor of Career Services.

Not only are employers at career fairs looking for majors in business, engineering or health professions, but liberal arts majors are in demand, as well. Though he admits large career fairs such as CareerLINK are saturated with companies that want business majors, Parker said he still encourages liberal arts majors to attend.

“We’ve seen regionally, studies have shown that employers are more and more looking at the value that liberal arts majors bring to the workplace – their critical thinking skills, their strong communication skills,” he said. “We strongly encourage students from the liberal arts majors to come out to the fair. Don’t be taken aback that your specific major may not be listed by that employer.”

Parker said he encourages all students to come prepared with a polished resume, some nice slacks and good pitch to showcase your marketable skills.

CareerLINK will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 26 in Carter Hall.