Finding a job following college can be a daunting task to many. With a bad economy, many layoffs, budget cuts and businesses closing constantly, one cannot be blamed for being scared of life after college. Fortunately, Bradley and the Smith Career Center realize the challenges students face and have taken many steps to help ease the process of a job search.
From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, the Career Center is hosting its first job fair of the year at the new arena. While many people found the part-time job expo at the beginning of the year as a temporary source of money during school, other career fairs are put on throughout the year for jobs and careers beyond college. These job fairs serve as an effective tool for students wanting to start the job hunt early and offer a wide variety of job types.
Companies attending include Panda Express, the office of U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, Heinold-Banwart Ltd CPAs, Pekin Insurance, Target and State Farm.
Ripki Patel, a 2010 graduate, found a job through one of the job fairs hosted by the Career Center.
“My experiences at Bradley University’s job fairs have always been positive,” she said. “Each time I attended these events, I have either met many new recruiters,
discovered companies I hadn’t known existed, or received many job interviews.”
At last year’s spring job fair, Patel met with recruiters from Hy-Vee, an employee owned company
and received a full-time job offer for the Peoria Hy-Vee store.
Now Patel works with the Career Center on job fairs from the other side of the table.
“I will be attending the Fall Job Fair this year as a Hy-Vee representative
to seek out Bradley talent,”
she said. “The Smith Career Center’s job fairs are a great way for students to network and find endless possibilities when it comes to their potential careers.”
The part-time job fair was shorter
and aimed at students looking for jobs during the school year.
The fall fair is geared toward finding students post-graduation employment, and business formal attire is recommended.
It will be a much more efficient
way to look at prospective employers and for them to get to know students.
In this down economy with a tight job market, anything is better than nothing.
Signs of improvement have pointed to more companies than ever registering for this job fair.
Seventy-nine attended last year, yet 96 are registered this year. Executive Director of the Smith Career Center Jane Linnenburger said more are registering constantly,
including Honda signing up just last week.
Employers attending realize
how valuable a degree from Bradley is, as it was ranked as one of the top five “Best Value “ colleges in US News & World Report’s annual list.
Companies notice Bradley students
at the job fair, especially if they have hired Bradley graduates in the past.
Kyle DeSmith, a 2009 graduate,
found employment with John Deere just by talking to recruiters at a job fair.
“Even though they weren’t actively recruiting for my major, by capitalizing on the opportunity
to network, I was offered the chance to apply my Bradley education
to the real world,” he said. “You never know what doors will open up because of networking and making connections.