By Grant Covault
On Feb. 10, 170 University of Findlay students attended the spring job fair at the Alumni Memorial Union on campus.
UF has nearly 3,700 students enrolled; therefore, 170 is around 4 percent participation.
“It is frustrating,” stated Phil Gunder, director of internships and cooperative education at UF. “Those who come to the job fair get something out of it. I have never heard a student say it was a waste of time.”
The University holds a job fair twice a year; one during the fall semester, and another again during the spring semester. The most recent fair featured a number of employers including Marathon Petroleum Company, Crown, Northwestern Mutual Insurance and many others.
According to Gunder and those at the Internship and Placement Office, these companies are constantly looking to expand and find new employees. Not only is the job fair an employment search, but it is also a way of communicating to a new generation of students the values and cultures that each company holds.
“Our goal is to take more students to each employer,” explained Gunder. “It is never bad to shake some hands.”
Findlay students had varying opinions about the job fair.
“Overall good experience,” stated upperclassman Conner Spaeth. “It might have been helpful for underclassman that don’t have that much experience.”
University of Findlay accounting major and underclassman Todd Hamit, had mixed reactions from the job fair.
“It was great being able to walk right up and talk to major companies. They were very receptive to what we had to offer and they had a lot to offer us as well,” said Hamit. “The only thing is, most of the companies there were looking for business majors. I could see why there wouldn’t be as many students there because this campus has so many physical therapy, pharmacy and animal science majors that would not have found the fair as useful as me.”
While 4 percent may not sound like a lot, the 170 students that registered made for a higher turnout than the 2014 spring job fair had.
According to Gunder, the number of employees that would have came may have been higher if Bowling Green State University was not holding its job fair on the same day.
“It just so happens BG had their job fair on the same date. It is hard to compete for companies’ time with a school that size with so many more students participating,” said Gunder.
The Internship Office is planning to begin work for next year’s two job fairs soon. It is open to new ideas from the outside to promote higher participation, including from other faculty.
“We have found that the most effective communication to students on job fairs come from the faculty and professors. Students buy in to what they [faculty] say because that’s who they see most,” said Gunder.
The internship office is located on the first floor of Old Main.
Phil Gunder and the others in the office say they hope to see students in their office early and often. They want to help give students the edge they will need in the future.
“Employers are looking for students with great talent. It is a given that the student will have a degree, that is the general expectation now and days,” said Gunder.