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Career Fair to provide networking opportunities for students

October 9, 2008

UW-River Falls students will have the chance to network with more than 100 potential employers at the 2008 Career Fair Oct. 15 in the University Center’s Riverview Ballroom.

According to Caitlin Conley, this year’s fair coordinator, students attending will get a chance to develop valuable communication skills that can be used during their time in college and can continue to develop as they explore future job markets. Conley has been working since May on planning, organizing and marketing this year’s event. She said the biggest challenge was staying in contact and communicating with the many organizations that will be attending the 2008 Career Fair. 
 
“We sent contact information to around 5,000 organizations, but limit the number admitted to the Fair to 100. Basically it’s on a first come first serve basis. We do feel that with the large number of contacts made we are really offering students here a nice variety of future opportunities,” Conley said.

Conley also pointed to other perks that students attending the Fair can take advantage of.

“The fair is a great networking tool, and it gives students a chance to work on communicating with others in a professional setting. You never know, someone may get a lead on that dream job they are looking for,” she said.

John Szatkowski, a business administration-finance major who will graduate in the spring, echoed some of the same words that Conley used to describe this year’s event.

“I’ll be looking to network. Hopefully by making a few connections and seeing what is out there it will help me make a decision where I might go after graduation,” Szatkowski said.

Michael Morris, a business administration major, said going to the fair will benefit him in several ways.

“You get to meet and talk to people in the real world to gain experience. Plus I get extra credit for one of my classes as well. It’s an overall great opportunity,” Morris said.

Conley said that the Career Fair can be beneficial to students of all majors, not just those with business or agricultural interests.

“Many years, education majors have not attended. But this year we have several organizations directly related to education coming,” Conley said. “Career Services strongly encourages those going into the education field to attend.”

Katie Storlien, an art education major, said she does not know if the fair will offer a job directly in her field, but she will be attending anyway.

“You never know what might come up, or who you might meet that will have a lead for you,” Storlien said.

Austin Public Schools, Admission Possible, Minnesota Reading Corps, New Horizon Academy and World Endeavors are some examples of organizations directly representing education at this year’s Fair.

Students are not the only group who stand to benefit from this year’s Career Fair.

Conley said the organizations have much to gain as well.

“When companies come here, they get a chance to see many qualified candidates. They are able to connect with the students, and also build a relationship with the professors and the University as well.” Conley said.

Sarah Idowa, communications coordinator for Admission Possible, said they are anxious to meet potential team members.

“We are coming to the Career Fair looking for people that want to make a commitment to our program. It’s our first time coming to this fair and we are excited to meet the students from River Falls and share this opportunity with them,” Idowa said.

Students interested in the Career Fair can find out more by stopping in at Career Services or visiting the Career Fair Web site. The Web site lists all of the organizations attending this year’s event, along with advice and tips for success for those students who are going. Informational sessions regarding the fair will be offered at Career Services two days prior to the event, and guides that list information about all of the attending organizations and their employment options will also be available.

“This is a great opportunity for everyone,” Conley said. “It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been a lot of fun too.”