Portland State Career Fair 2004

Feeling dejected and vocationally-challenged? Your crystal ball may not be full of Top Ramen forever if you make wise use of today’s occupational assistance at PSU’s annual Career Information Day.

The 16th annual Career Information Day is hosting 76 employers who will share their career-related information with student job-hunters. The hunt begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. in the Smith Memorial Student Union 3rd floor ballroom. Besides the possibility of a job, the event will feature door prizes and a raffle for a Palm Pilot and MP3 player.

Dee Thompson, director of the Portland State University Career Center, promises an abundance of potential employers for students to check out, offering something for everyone.

“Representatives from many different kinds of employers typically attend,” Thompson said. “Businesses (including high tech, retail, banking, financial services, and insurance), social services and nonprofits, educational institutions, and government agencies (city, state, federal) will be there.” Companies and agencies ranging from Teradyne Inc. and T-Mobile, to the Peace Corps and Metro will be in attendance.

How does Career Information Day differ from a job fair? It is intended to provide an opportunity to talk to many employers about potential careers rather than to interview for specific openings or fill out applications.


The day-long event will include specialized training sessions. A panel discussion on careers in social services will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 328 SMSU and another, covering careers for writers, takes place next door from 1-2 p.m. in Room 329.

There are definite strategies for how to make a visit to the information session profitable. “Be yourself,” Ranya al-Abiad, the student chair of the event, said. “Know what you want and do not be intimidated to ask for it.”

“Be eloquent and friendly,” she recommended. Given the current job market, the search can be daunting. “Smile. Do not look desperate. Employers do not like desperation. Stand tall and confident and try and try again.” The key is not to let skepticism or a beaten outlook show.

“Some employers will be in an active recruiting mode and may ask you to contact their office or leave a resume,” Thompson said. “Others may list opportunities coming up at a later date. If an organization is hiring for immediate openings, it may direct you to sign up for an on-campus interview, to schedule an on-site interview or to submit your resume later.”

The Career Center will hold a follow-up job fair for students looking for summer employment on Wednesday April 14.