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Career Fair attracts employers

Ever wondered what you can do with that piece of paper known as a diploma after you graduate? If you haven’t, stop by Career Information Day 2002 taking place next Wednesday, Feb. 13 in the Smith Center Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Even if you have thought about it, there may be possibilities available that you may not have initially associated with your area of study. Psych majors, ever considered a career in film editing?

The annual event invites dozens of employers to interact with PSU students. The organizers have added a new portion to the program this year. The Career Center and PSU Alumni Relations will bring two alumni panels to speak on their career experiences and the variety of possibilities available for science and social science majors in particular.

Nearly 100 companies, both public and private, will be available to PSU students, giving a sample of what sort of employment Vikings may find after graduation. Employers range from the Peace Corps to Intel to the Oregon Police, as well as lesser-known firms such as the Riverbend Youth Center.

But even if one is not prepared to jump directly into the world of career employment, or still unsure of what major to pursue, Career Information Day can still be helpful.

“The event helps students learn about career opportunities in the organizations attending, and some of them are in active mode for hiring,” said Dee Thompson, Director of the PSU Career Center. “But it also can give information about the kinds of job opportunities available, so it can be helpful to even freshmen and sophomores looking for a major.”

Though the number of employers is slightly less than previous years due to the current economic stagnation, at least 82 employers are expected, with possible additions before the actual event. The percentage of public employers has also increased this year due to the economic situation, according to Thompson.

So besides coming armed with a resume and clean shirt, what should one do to prepare for the event? “Come with questions for the employers, know what to look for, and self-reflect on your own skills and interests,” suggested Meghan Gnekow, the student chair of career information.

Background information on employers in attendance can be found through direct links on the Career Center Web site,, which also has pertinent information dealing with the Career Day, including a list of employers in attendance, and details on the Alumni Panels. The panels can give perspective of someone actually doing it, Gnekow said. Also, the panelists can serve as a sort of “stepping stone” for students.

“These alumni can be possible network contacts,” Thompson said, and illustrate “all the kinds of majors for different career paths.” In the current economic downturn, she added, the need to know what skills are necessary for success is more important than ever, as is knowing your own skills and where to use them.

This also helps students to know what skills to develop further, as well as how to do so, Gnekow added.

Besides the fair, the Career Center offers a plethora of resources to aid students and alumni in searching for employment. Located in the University Services Building, Room 402, they are now open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except for Thursday, when they are open until 6 p.m. The center hosts a team of counselors available for individual advice, as well as databases of information.

Of course, there is also the Web site, convenient to access by those with busy schedules. In addition to information about career events, the site includes automatic search agents for job listings, career exploration options, information on internships and other resources to make you armed and dangerous on your job hunt. The Career Center can also be reached by phone at 503-725-4613.