Career fair offers students full-time and summer employment

The Michel Student Center Ballroom filled with job seekers on April 4, as a newly revamped fair closed out the year’s organized job fairs.

The Public Service and Summer Employment Fair, hosted by the Smith Career Center, gave nearly 70 employers and more than 180 students the chance to find employees and jobs before the school year ended.

The fair, which was formerly named the Social Service, Recreation, and Education Job Fair, was split into two events this year, said Associate Director of Springer Center for Excellence in Internships Molly Drenckpohl.

The two fairs have been renamed the Public Service and Summer Employment Fair and the Networking, Professionalism and Recruitment in Education Conference. Both were hosted on March 6.

“We had requests from students and professors [for two events],” Drenckpohl said. “I think [the change] made the events more open to students, which, to me, means more opportunities.”

Drenckpohl said the fair focused on social sciences, including sociology and psychology.

Sophomore health science major Hetal Patel said she could see the difference.

“I’m here looking for an internship for the summer,” Patel said. “I noticed that this fair had more opportunities for younger students.”

Senior health science major Katherine Emrich said she agreed.

“There were a lot more opportunities for health science majors [than in previous fairs],” she said. “I’m very impressed with this fair.”

Employers said they were impressed, also. Returning employer Gina Wehmhoff of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice’s Department of Corrections said this fair brought forward students with different interests.

“We’ve seen a lot more females attracted to this fair,” Wehmhoff said. “Because they are a minority in our department, we’re [able to] recruit more [students].”

However, the Student Center Ballroom may not have been the best choice for the fair, said a few students.

“It was a little bit crowded [in the Student Center],” Patel said.”But the smaller space [offered] more one-on-one connections.”

According to Drenckpohl, the Smith Career Center is continuing to make changes to both events but it is planning to keep the events separate and host a fair similar to the public service fair in spring 2014.

The fair will be longer, as per student requests, said Drenckpohl, and it will be renamed “Not Too Late Career and Summer Job Fair.”