posted 2012-03-22 00:34:38

Career Expo Lures Students in Hope of a Job

Students offer fanfare and criticism for the Career Development Services’ tradition

David Khukhashvili

Staff Writer

Around 500 students attended the Career Development Services career expo held in the Hunter West sportsplex March 7. By noon, students who were eager to start their careers prior to and following graduation flooded the auditorium handling multiple copies of their resumes as they met with recruiters in hopes of landing a job or an internship. Over sixty companies were represented at the expo and were met by a multitude of students going from table to table, talking and networking with the recruiters. But even with such a turnout of prospective employers, students offered mixed reactions.

Students who were going into the expo with hopes of discovering opportunities were not disappointed. Many like Shun Yan Li, a senior majoring in Chinese Language and Literature, were simply there to find internships that would act as steppingstones towards their futures. “[I came here] looking for internship opportunities to prepare for a career in the long term,” said Li.

Pre-med students were happy to see companies that offered positions that represented their fields of study, such as Weil Cornell Medical College. “This year there are more health care careers [represented],” senior Psychology major Fatima Shaikh said. She said she was more pleased with the expo this year than last. An interesting presence in the health care related fields was the US Army, which promoted the Army Health Professions Scholarship Program, however, many students were reluctant to submit their information because it was a military program.

Not every student who attended the career expo was as content as the pre-health students were. Many economics and accounting students were upset and greatly disappointed at the small number of financing related companies that were represented. “Most companies here are for social work. It would have been nice to have more finance companies,” said Shouka Amirsolimani, a senior majoring in Accounting. Even with the small number of finance related companies that were represented, most were not offering the traditional type of jobs in the field. Instead they were offering positions heavily based on sales performance. AXA Advisors was the most popular company for economics and accounting majors.

Other criticisms of the expo pertained to its timing. For students of social work, there was an array of prospective employers to talk to, however, being that most social work students who attended were at the graduate level and worked during the day, an extension of the career expo to later hours would have been ideal. “I wish it went longer into business hours,” said Michelle Clawson, a masters student in Social Work. Had the hours been extended past 2 p.m., more of her colleagues could have attended. “With more hours, a lot more of us would be able come out,” Clawson said.

Besides the slight issues that were present, the career expo was a successful event that opened up students’ eyes to the real world. The most popular company was Apple, as was evidenced by the consistently large crowd that surrounded their table. Another important employer, which was also very popular, was the US Department of State. Many students were interested in government positions due to the benefits and job stability they offer, which are desperately sought after in today’s economy. The NYPD was another state-run employer present, though their table was not as popular as the State Department’s.