National and local employers ranging from Northwestern Mutual to the California State Highway Patrol were present on the Academic Quad Oct. 3. to recruit students for jobs and internships at the Hameetman Career Center (HCC) Fall Career Fair.
Cherena Walker, associate vice president of the Hameetman Career Center, said that this was the first major career fair to take place at Occidental. According to Walker, it was the responsibility of the employers to show up. Although 64 employers signed up, many more could have been brought in if the HCC had had a clear estimate of student turnout, said Walker.
“The employers are here because they choose to be,” Walker said.
Walker said that one of the most common concerns for students entering the job market is that they do not know what to expect in terms of interacting with future employers. According to her, the HCC designed the fair to combat this problem.
“Being able to practice marketing skills in-person here was very helpful,” Thomas Egan (senior), who attended the fair, said.
According to Walker, the Hameetman Center held training sessions to teach students how to interact with the employers and to help students develop skills such as interview etiquette leading up to the fair. The HCC set up rooms around campus for formal job interviews to take place in the hours after the fair.
The fair was open to everyone, including first years. Nellie Johnson (first year) said she attended the fair hoping to track down a specific company she was interested in for a summer internship. The fair was an opportunity to see what employment opportunities would be available during her time at Occidental, according to Johnson.
Representatives from educational institutions were also present to recruit seniors interested in pursuing advanced degrees. Tyson Fant, an enrollment officer at the Graduate School of Education at Pepperdine University, said he attended to speak about master’s programs in behavior analysis and psychology. The education Occidental students receive prepares them well for work in academia, according to Fant.
“I chose to come to Oxy because of the great academic programs it has,” Fant said.
Walker said that there will only be one career fair every year and considers this year’s fair a great success. Walker said that employers will continue to visit campus throughout the year, and she is currently arranging for some of the most popular tech companies to visit Occidental. Despite the fact that the career fair is an annual event, Walker said that the HCC is always open for students concerned about their future careers.
“We love what we do. We’re here to help guide them through the process, ” Walker said.