Hundreds of students flooded the Career Services office yesterday for the Career Services Kick-Off event.
The event was meant to acquaint students with Career Services and the resources it has to offer, said Susan Miller, marketing and special events senior coordinator for Career Services.
The event was held in the afternoon in the Student Union Memorial Center. Career Services used its staff of 16, in addition to about 25 resume checkers and other volunteers, to help run the event. About 375 students attended, according to Miller.
Students had the opportunity to speak with real employers to practice their ""one minute commercial,"" which they use to introduce themselves to potential employers. Career Services staff and volunteers from companies were on hand to critique students' resumes. Students also had the opportunity to sign up for campus interviewing.
""Students can elect to do whatever is most important to them,"" Miller said.
She said it is important for students to prepare for the Career Fair by building self-confidence in the job search process. Miller said students should do research and prepare intelligent questions if there is a company they are particularly interested in.
For this year's Fall Career Days, about 200 organizations will participate over two days, compared to about 300 in the fall of last year. Miller said she was pleased with this response because of the state of the economy. This year's Career Fair will take place Sept. 22 from 1 to 6 p.m. and Sept. 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Union Memorial Center Ballroom.
Representatives from seven governmental agencies attended the kick-off event to provide information to students for the first time this year. The Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of State, Pima County Government, the U.S. Forest Service, the City of Tucson, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Social Security Administration all participated.
""Because the economy is so challenging, we figure they could use a little extra help this year,"" Miller said.
Leslie Dyer-Wallace, a human resources technician for the City of Tucson, was there to provide information to students.
""We're seeing what the focus areas are and what students are interested in,"" she said.
Olivia Wells, a revenue agent with the IRS, wanted students to know there are job opportunities for students of various majors, not just accounting and business.
""This is a place you can potentially start and end your career and not do the same thing for thirty years,"" she said.
Some of the students who attended the kick-off event dressed casually and came to gather information only. Others wore suits or skirts and took advantage of all of the services provided.
Lauren Routen, a biochemistry senior, heard about the event through an e-mail.
""Graduation is coming up. I'm starting to evaluate my options and see what I can do with my major,"" she said.
Routen had never used Career Services before, but took advantage of the event by speaking with the government agencies and participating in a mock employer booth. She said that it was good to know that employers are interested in hiring students.
""I learned I have a lot of work to do,"" she said.
Eric Leisey graduated in May with a degree in business economics. He said he had used Career Services in the past and often checks their Web site for upcoming events. Leisey spoke with the government agencies and got his resume checked at the kick-off event.
Leisey said he read an article in the Wall Street Journal recommending that people do something to advance their career every day, whether it be updating a resume or making a new business contact.
""I was sort of taking that to heart,"" he said.
Career Services also held a workshop that afternoon titled ""Preparing for a Career Fair.""
Amina Sonnie, a senior program coordinator with Career Services, led the workshop.
The workshop focused on how students should interact with potential employers. She advised students to walk through the career fair first to see which employers are interested in students from their major. She told the students to know what they were looking for and have some background information about the employer.
Sonnie also gave examples of how students could prepare their one minute commercial by stating their name, class, major, the opportunity they are seeking, highlights of their skills and strengths, and the knowledge of the organization. She stressed practice will help students to improve in this area.