Career Center’s annual fair sees increased popularity

The University of Oregon’s Career Center’s Feb. 11 career fair had higher student attendance than usual. The center and attending employers said this points to its increasing success and impact on students’ lives.

Makaya Moore graduated from UO in 2015. Moore worked for the Career Center while she was a student, after attaining an internship through one of their career fairs.

“Sophomore year, I went to the career fair unaware of what I was looking for, but I brought my resume just in case,” Moore said. “I saw StoveTeam International’s table and was interested in their organization. They said they were looking for an intern and it was okay that I didn’t have experience.”

That’s something employers at the career center want to stress: experience is not required in attaining an internship. Employers don’t always expect students to have job experience.

E. & J. Gallo Winery attended the career fair this year, meeting six students they invited back for a second round of interviews.

“We go in with the understanding that students may not have an extensive amount of work experience because they’ve been dedicating their time to getting involved on campus,” Laurence Kuhlmann, an item sales manager for E. & J. Gallo Winery, said. “We want people that have made an impact during their time on campus.”

Kulhman has been coming to the career fairs with E. & J. Gallo Winery for six years now.

“I’m always so impressed by the level of maturity these students possess,” Kuhlman said. He said he has noticed quite an improvement throughout the years he attended as a recruiter –students come more prepared and professional every year, constantly raising the bar.

Student attendance has increased as well. This last fair brought in about 1,000 students. The average number is closer to 700-800 students per fair, said Colleen Lewis, employer relations manager and event coordinator for the Career Center. Lewis brings it back to the idea of an internship.

“Academics are so important, and you never want to let those go,” she said. “But these days, a student really needs to spend these four years, through experiential learning, building up that resume, so that by the time they leave campus they really have a foundation of experience that shows their value to an employer.”

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Macy Hyland

Macy Hyland