Career fair draws over 65 vendors from the Northwest and beyond

The 15th annual Career Information Day, sponsored and put together by the Portland State University Career Center, is being held today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom.

The event will feature over 65 different vendors from American Express Financial Advisors to Peace Corps. Career Center director, Dee Thompson, said the event can accommodate up to 100 vendors.

Although they are at 70 percent capacity, Thompson said other U.S. universities are experiencing a 50 percent drop in vendors because of a slumping economy. She attributed the number of PSU vendors to the hard work and outreach of the Career Center staff, as well as Portland State students in general.

“The companies wouldn’t be here if they weren’t interested in our students,” Thompson said.

Thompson said the goal of the event is to introduce students to employers and employers to students. As it is not a “job fair,” there is no real interviewing; rather it is intended to provide students with information about what jobs and career opportunities are available to them.

Thompson said the event is not only great for graduating students, but for undergraduates who may have a year or two left before they enter the job market. This can provide options for students who may not know what career they would like to enter once they graduate.

Thompson feels that students have received a false impression that there are no jobs for college graduates. On the contrary, she said there are many available jobs, but that they may be harder to find.

New to the Career Information Day are two breakout sessions. These sessions, held during the course of the event, are intended to provide students with general information concerning career fields they may be thinking of entering (see box).

Don’t be caught with your pants down

Don’t be caught with any thing less than a nice pair of jeans for that matter. First impressions are key to a successful job hunt and appearance is one place to start.

While you are picking out the perfect outfit, make sure to make extra copies of your resume to hand out to perspective employers.

The Career Center Web site,, says it is a good idea to prepare a list of questions for perspective employers. As the vendors may be busy, this will help students get the information they want, quickly without tying up the vendors.

Mapping out your route

The following list of Career Information Day vendors will help you locate the organizations you want to visit today. We have organized the vendors in alphabetical order, separated into nonprofit, corporate and government organizations, and the table numbers on the left correspond to the tables on the map, allowing you easy navigation in the SMSU Ballroom.

Breakout sessions are open to all students

Session one

“International Careers: At Home and Abroad” – Noon to 1 p.m., SMSU room 328.

Session two

“Careers in Social Services: Make a Living and Make a Difference” – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., SMSU rom 329.