State and national employers will be on campus Wed., March 1 to speak with students about career opportunities at their businesses and organizations. Career Information Day, organized by Portland State’s Career Center, will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Smith Memorial Student Union ballroom.
This event, intended as an information-gathering opportunity for students at any point in their career search, is open to all students and is a chance to meet representatives from businesses, firms, social service agencies, and city, state and federal governments.
“We try to make sure the event has something for all majors,” said Dee Thompson, director of the Career Center. “We work hard to make sure it’s a broad representation. We have the big firms, like Intel and Columbia Sportswear, and also smaller companies, who’ve never been to campus before.”
Career Information Day is not necessarily an opportunity to apply for specific job openings.
“One of the things to remember is that this is an information day. Many companies may have openings now, but these folks are also there to give information about what kind of opportunities exists in their companies,” Thompson said. “For example, Google will be there. Students have the opportunity to go up to Google, and talk to the representative to find out what Google is looking for in a prospective employee. This in an event where students, even juniors and sophomores, go to find out what you can do. This a chance to ask an employer about your major, which is something you can’t do in a cover letter.”
Many of the employers who will be present at Career Information Day have Portland State alumni on staff, or have had positive experiences with Portland State students in the past. They are looking for prospective employees of a similar caliber.
“The Forest Service is interested in recruiting at Career Day at Portland State this season because the quality of students at Portland State is very high. The schools are producing students that have the right mix of enthusiasm, and definitely the academics, that we’re looking for,” said Nancy Coyote of the U.S. Forest Service. “We’re particularly looking for future leaders in the organization, and we find that students at Portland State come with good leadership skills.”
“Several of our current employees here in the Portland area began with Enterprise as sales management trainees and were graduates of Portland State. The career fair is a great resource for Enterprise to find bright, talented undergraduates for our sales management trainee program and summer internships,” said April Razey of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, another company represented at Career Information Day. “It gives students a chance to learn about the many career opportunities at our company – opportunities that they might not otherwise realize are available."
Career Information Day is also a chance for students to impress employers with their initiative.
“Job fairs provide an opportunity to meet driven students,” said Steven Partrain of Trillium Family Services, a mental health organization that will send a representative to Career Information Day. “I find that folks who make the effort to go to the job fair are more motivated.”
As Thompson said, “You don’t often have 80 employers in one room.”
A complete listing of employers attending Career Information Day is available at www.career.pdx.edu.