Many college students who need to work won't just settle for the next open job position.
Several students attended the Fall Job Fair at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park armed with their résumés and a laser focus for key words pertaining to their area of study.
"I want to go into education," said part-time student Helen Medhanie, "so I’m trying to look for a footing and just trying to get my experience out there in teaching."
Medhanie is looking for part-time work to get her through school since her parents cannot afford to help her pay for tuition. She has taken on customer service and retail jobs in the past. She says now is the time for her to find a position that helps her build her résumé.
North Hennepin staff organized its Fall Job Fair with students like Medhanie in mind. They invited employers that range from retail to public service, that offer jobs that fit a variety of career paths. What's more, the companies are not only looking for students who are about to graduate, but also for those who need work now, who are putting themselves through school or are supporting their family.
"A job fair like this not only gives them an opportunity to support themselves financially, but it really does help them to gain skills," says Karen Philbin from NHCC's Career Resource Center. "[Those skills include] interpersonal skills, working as a team, starting to put into use what they’re learning in the classroom."
Busy students say it's convenient and more comfortable to talk to employers on their own turf. Taneisha Goudy handed out ten copies of her résumé at the fair and scheduled two job interviews on the spot.
"The person can meet you and see you and look over your résumé and give you an opportunity to get that face to face versus filling out an application online," said Goudy.
Also convenient for the students are many of these employers' willingness to work around the students' busy schedules. Philbin says that could be the difference between a student staying in college and dropping out.
NHCC holds two job fairs a year and also invites companies throughout the year to set up a table at the school to network with students.
October 10, 2012