Career Fair offers new possibilities

Looking for a job? If the current stark economic realities have you down, then today’s PSU Career Information Day, being held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Smith Center Ballroom, may give some hope.

Nearly 100 private companies, government agencies and nonprofit agencies will be on hand to answer questions, give advice and help students gain a sense of what the future may hold for them.

Also new this year is the addition of two alumni panels, with alumni who have held science and social science degrees giving their insight on possibilities for their respective majors.

Even if one feels as if he or she is not ready to begin thinking about looking for a career, the fair may still help in that decision, as well as what course of study to pursue.

“The event helps students learn about career opportunities in the organizations attending, and some of them are in active mode for hiring,” said Dee Thompson, director of the PSU Career Center. “But it also can give information about the kinds of job opportunities available, so it can be helpful to even freshmen and sophomores looking for a major.”

There is a wide variety of interests among the 82 employers present. Due to the decline in the economy, there is an increase in the prevalence of public employers this year, including Multnomah County, Tri-Met and the Oregon State Police. If law enforcement is more your style, check out the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington State Department of Corrections, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and others. Firms such as Oregon Agricultural Services, Department of Fish & Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service may offer options to be out and about in a natural setting.

If social work is your interest, then try CODA, Arras and Riverbend Youth Center. If number-crunching is more your game, consider the Internal Revenue Service, Country Insurance, Nationwide Insurance or John Hancock Financial Services. For those tech-heads out there, Intel, Mentor Graphics and Biotronik/Microsystems Engineering will be among those in attendance.

For those with more culinary tastes, or who are just looking for possible food samples, employers include Hershey Foods, Reser’s Fine Foods, Coca-Cola and Quality Food Centers. Want to pursue work in the retail field? You’re covered with Fred Meyer, Wal-Mart, Meier & Frank and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

So besides coming armed with a resume and clean shirt, what should one do to prepare for the event? “Come with questions for the employers, know what to look for, and self-reflect on your own skills and interests,” suggested Megan Gnekow, the student chair of career information.

Background information on employers in attendance can be found through direct links on the Career Center Web site,, which also has pertinent information dealing with the Career Day, including a list of employers in attendance, and details on the alumni panels. The social science panel will include a lab manager, academic advisor, film editor and program administrator, while the science panel will include a vice president/area manager, urban naturalist, mental health program manager and health inspector, which should make for informative and diverse sessions in career exploration, as well as possible future contacts. Give Career Information Day 2002 a try, and who knows, you may find that dream job you’ve been looking for.