Feb 092006
Authors: Skylar Rick

It's time to print out those resumes, break out the business clothes and try to get a job in the real world. It's Career Fair Time.

The annual fair, held Thursday in the Lory Student Center, unites prospective employers and employees alike, allowing the opportunity for networking and ultimately a chance for a career.

From full-time positions offered to recent or upcoming graduates to internship positions, the fair had about every career field covered.

Another thing which varied, besides the more than 170 different businesses that attended, were what requirements each companies had.

"We came to this fair to meet people face-to-face because an application is so vague," said Mark Webster, Oppenheimer Funds recruiter. "We know that people here are in school, so they might not have that much of a career background."

It's that reason why Webster isn't looking at only professional experience, but attributes such as interests and enthusiasm in the field as well.

For other career paths, like joining the Navy, grade point average is what would give a student an advantage.

"We're looking for a good GPA, around a 3.0 or above," said Michael Marinan, officer recruiter for the Navy. "We are looking at juniors and above and will pay them while they are going to college, as well as for their college."

After completing college, which could even go as far as medical school, the students who enroll will only have to serve about four years, but will start as officers.

Not all of the employers were satisfied with only GPA; some, like Xcel Energy, search for students who did more than school.

"We want people who have a well-rounded education and experience in the work world," said Mark Sauerbrey, corporate recruiter for Xcel Energy. "We would like self-starters with some discipline, which students will have more of if they have both a job and school."

Because levels of experience required vary so much, the career fair was seen as an advantage to most students.

"I'm graduating this spring and it's really hard to find a job on your own," said Jennifer Siegal, senior marketing major. "Here, we're able to find options and see what jobs are open for graduating seniors."

But it wasn't just seniors who attended the fair; there were also some who decided to get an early start in their field.

"The earlier you start with getting you career underway, the easier it is to get more experience," said Rachel Suarez, freshman business administration major. "A lot of companies here are looking for personality, eagerness and GPA and will hopefully overlook age."

Skylar Rick can be reached at campus@collegian.com.

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