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Campus News

More Than 850 Attend UAlbany Job Expo

by Tavonna Goodman

The recent Job and Internship Expo held in the Campus Center Ballrooom gave University at Albany students a chance to put their best foot forward in seeking internships and job opportunities upon graduation.
The recent Job and Internship Expo held in the Campus Center Ballrooom gave University at Albany students a chance to put their best foot forward in seeking internships and job opportunities upon graduation.

Jamaal Bailey, president of the University at Albany Chapter of the National Communication Association Student Clubs, will graduate this May with his bachelor of arts degree in rhetoric and communication. He was one of more than 850 University at Albany students to attend the third annual University at Albany Job and Internship Expo on March 2.

With graduation just on the horizon, many UAlbany seniors are beginning to prepare for their future in the job market.

“I went to the Expo because I wanted to learn how to talk to [recruiters] and see what they want. I also wanted to see what kinds of jobs are out there,” said David Judge, 21, a senior from Yonkers, N.Y., graduating in December with his bachelor of arts in political science.

The Career Development Center, Pi Sigma Epsilon, the African-American & Latino Pre-Professional Association, and the American Marketing Association co-sponsored this event, granting students the opportunity to present their interests, strengths, and education to 69 internship and full-time employment recruiters.

“This year we packed the Campus Center Ballroom to capacity,” said Jennifer Lee, former president of Pi Sigma Epsilon.

Professionalism filled the atmosphere. Students and recruiters alike dressed in mostly black and white. People shook hands and smiled graciously while they passed out information about themselves or their organizations in the form of pamphlets, brochures, business cards, and resumes.

“You have to be prepared for the Job Expo. I wanted to make a good impression. I bought resume paper, made sure that my clothes had no wrinkles, and that I was cleanly shaven. I studied the companies that were going to be there in advance so that I could show them that their interests matched mine,” said Bailey, 21, from the Bronx, N.Y.

Recruiters came from a broad spectrum of organizations, such as IBM, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., Catholic Charities Disabilities Services, Lord and Taylor Department Stores, MetLife Financial Services, Stiefel Laboratories, State Farm Insurance, Thompson Delmar Learning, and the U.S. Air Force.

“We invited a diverse employer presence. Reservations were taken first-come, first-serve,” said Marie Rabideau, interim director of the Career Development Center.

For many students, the first Job Expo attended is not the last. The Expo provides a learning experience and opportunities for interviews and networking that students would not otherwise have access to.

“I think [Job Expos] are helpful. Going to the Job Expo made me better prepared for an interview. When I went to the Job Expo last year, I was nervous and I did not know how to talk to recruiters. This year, I was more professional and I knew what questions to ask,” said Hilda Chan, 21, a senior from Long Island, N.Y., graduating this May with her bachelor of arts in economics.

Of the roughly 2,000 undergraduate and 1,050 graduate students who will graduate from the University at Albany this May, the majority will have degree majors in psychology, business, English, rhetoric and communication, and economics. Although job competition will be abundant, students are not expressing concern about their prospects in the job market.

“I plan to take off two weeks after graduation and then start looking for a job,” said Chan.

According to the National Association of College and Employers (NACE), Winter, 2004 report, an overall hiring increase of 12.7 percent is expected for new college graduates. The careers that are expected to be in highest demand include sales, entry-level management, teaching, accounting, financial analysis, design engineering, registered nursing, and consulting.

With the job market expected to improve, some of the co-sponsors of the Job and Internship Expo offered advice about actions that students and faculty could take to possibly increase students’ chances of obtaining jobs.

“Many students do not start their job search until after graduation. There are jobs out there for new graduates. However, students need to learn that career planning is a process that takes time. Many students focus on their grades and work a part-time job on the side and do nothing else but dedicate time to their social life. These are the students who have a more difficult time finding a job. The well-prepared and qualified students (those who have done internships, participated in clubs/activities, gained some leadership experience as well as solid interpersonal skills, and have networked effectively) will be the ones who find jobs. Graduates who do not have adequate experience have the option of doing post-graduate internships to improve their marketability,” said Rabideau.

“Faculty need to get the word out more to their students. The Expo does not exclude any major, but a lot of professors and students, alike, think that these types of events are only geared toward business and business-related majors. They are open to the whole University and I would like to see everyone take advantage of it, if not for a job, the networking possibilities are endless,” said Lee.

The Career Development Center is available to discuss educational and career concerns and goals with matriculated undergraduate students. Students can come to the Career Development Center during drop-in hours for resume and cover letter critiques, and CDC staff will work individually with students in career counseling appointments.