Wildcats seek connections at annual Job Fair

By Tyler Saal

(Photo by: Whitney Young) A student talks with Focus representatives at the Job Fair on Thursday. The Job Fair is an event that gives students opportunities to speak with potential employers.

Weber State University students spoke with companies seeking student employees at the Job Fair sponsored by Career Services yesterday in the Shepherd Union Atrium.

More than 25 on- and off-campus employers from the Ogden, Davis and Salt Lake areas set up booths at the annual fair between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m, including WSU Human Resources, FedEx, Focus Services and Farmers Insurance.

Winn Stanger, director of Career Services at WSU, said research shows that “a student who works up to 20 hours per week on campus has a higher retention rate and a higher graduation rate than students who don’t work at all.”

Larry Burdett, employer outreach coordinator and job developer at Career Services, said the purpose of the Job Fair is to help students find work with companies that can offer with flexible schedules and thus connect students with ideal jobs.

“We recognize that most of the students are employed on a full-time or part-time basis,” Burdett said. “Here’s the opportunity to meet face to face with those companies, businesses and corporations that are hiring.”

Stanger said the fair is not only beneficial for students as they hunt for jobs, but for employers as well. He explained that 90 percent of WSU students work at least part-time, and 40 percent work full-time. With more than 25,000 students, he said, WSU is a large pool to draw from, a pool in which candidates possess more skills, training and maturity than high-school students or others without training in a university setting.

“It’s been a big success so far,” said Liza Humphrey, a representative of FedEx at the fair. She said she had seen many interested students who, in turn, would benefit from FedEx’s offerings, which include tuition reimbursement. “. . . We’re expecting to have pretty good results and get a lot of people in from here.”

Since the Job Fair catered to jobs for current students, some students who were there searching for a post-graduation career were out of luck.

Chris Gilchrist, a WSU senior studying electronic engineering technology, said he visited many booths, but there weren’t many of the kinds of opportunities he is looking for, since he will soon graduate.

Career Services hosts an annual Career Fair for students who need employment after graduation in the spring semester.

Burdett said many resources are still available for students who missed the Job Fair but are still interested in finding a student job. He said he encourages students to visit the Career Services Center, Room 230 in the Student Services Building, to learn more about their resources, including the CareerConnect website, information sessions with Career Services counselors, and a library focusing on building a career.