Representatives from local, regional and national businesses will be at Portland State’s annual Career Information Day tomorrow to answer questions regarding potential careers in their respective fields.
Representatives from local, regional and national businesses will be at Portland State’s annual Career Information Day tomorrow to answer questions regarding potential careers in their respective fields. Businesses will represent various occupational areas, including banking, retail, insurance, education and government.
This year is unique in that Career Information Day, sponsored by the Career Center, will be held separately from the Engineering and Technology Job Fair. This is largely a result of the employer and student response to last year’s career fair. Of the attending businesses in 2010, almost one-third was engineering- and technology-related.
Gregory Flores, interim director for the PSU Career Center, said that employers and students alike wanted a more focused engineering and technology-related fair, as well as an all-major fair. This fair will take place today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom.
This year’s response does seem to differ from previous years. Employer attendance to the fair had been steadily declining since 2008. According to Flores, the fair usually draws between 70 and 80 businesses, but businesses attending last year’s fair totaled only 62, the fewest in the fair’s history. In 2009, 72 were in attendance, while there were 82 in 2008.
This year, however, over 120 businesses will be in attendance between the two fairs.
“The exciting part for us is [this] employer response to the new fair,” Flores said.
Despite lower numbers the last couple of years, Flores said that “employers are…pretty satisfied with the quality of the students.”
Melissa Mackie, college relations lead for Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield—an attending business for the last couple of years—agreed.
“I remember meeting a lot of quality students,” she said.
Mackie has been similarly impressed with the students attending the PSU business fairs over the past four years. She will be present again this year as a representative for Regence.
Though many of the businesses are regional and national, the majority are local, Northwest businesses.
“PSU students like to stay in Portland,” Flores said. “We focus most of our energy on local businesses.”
Some government agencies will not be attending because their recruiting budget is limited. But despite the absence of these previously present parties, the projected success of the fair is encouraging considering the current economic climate, Flores said.
The PSU Career Information Day does differ from a traditional career fair, according to Flores.
“Traditional job fairs do on-site hiring,” he said.
This is not the case for the PSU fair. It is billed more as an informational event, but Flores noted that some companies will be doing on-campus and follow-up interviews in the Career Center.
He said that it is also an excellent opportunity for internships.
“If you’re looking for an internship…go to the fair,” Flores said.
He stressed that it is important to be prepared before going to the fair. He said that students should research the businesses that they are interested in and what career opportunities they have to offer, as well as to have questions and a resume prepared.
“The longer [students] spend at the fair, the more satisfied they are,” Flores said.
He is confident that the fair will satisfy those who go prepared.
“This is an event that is billed for [all majors]…and there should be something for everyone,” he said.
More information on Career Information Day can be found at www.pdx.edu/careers/career-and-job-fairs. It will be held tomorrow, Feb. 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the SMSU Ballroom. ?