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Spring career fair provides students with opportunities

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Career Center Director Michelle Gjerde worked to bring
Career Center Director Michelle Gjerde worked to bring 82 participating companies to the career fair Wednesday. Photo courtesy of csupueblo.edu.

Colorado State University-Pueblo held its annual spring career fair, which featured 82 participating employers, in the Occhiato University Center Ballroom March 4.

Students were dressed in professional business attire and were interactive with employers who were set in booths. Among the 82 present employers were Centura Health, Aurora Police Department, Black Hills Corporation, Denver Safety Department, Midas, Pueblo City Schools, YMCA of Pueblo and several others.

The event was put together by Michelle Gjerde, director of CSU-Pueblo’s Career Center.

The Career Center’s goal is to provide opportunities for each CSU-Pueblo student and graduate to develop a clear career objective, to obtain relevant work experience and to learn the skills necessary to conduct a successful self-directed job search.

Former CSU-Pueblo student Ethan Ward, who graduated in December 2014 in physical education, said that he came to the spring career fair looking for employment.

Ward said he thought it the career fair provided opportunities.

“The college is bringing in all these employers, giving everybody a chance. It’s nice seeing the college doing something for their graduates and their soon-to-be graduates,” Ward said.

Beau Reed, a CSU-Pueblo student who will be graduating soon in May 2015 shared the same sentiment.

“It’s a great idea for students to come to the Career Fair because you can get networking. Even if you don’t find something you like, you can meet people who might know people and you can get a foot in the door that way,” Reed said.

Reed, an English major at CSU-Pueblo, said that there aren’t many opportunities with his degree but his degree in criminal justice and certificate in fire science from Pueblo Community College should help.

“Like one of my professors said, a couple years ago, there was a student who applied for a police application with an English major and he ended up actually writing up their reports. So although their might appear to be nothing for students, it’s a good idea to come down and get your face recognized,” Reed said.

Reed said he hoped to gain more networking by attending the fair.

International student from Mexico Jose Lopez said that it was also a great learning experience and opportunity for students.

“It provides us with different companies to apply for and we can practice our communication skills. Our communication skills can be improved and we can network with important people in different business areas which is what we aim for in our careers,” Lopez said.

“It is important to connect with people, try to get a job and apply everything we have learned from school,” he said.

Lopez, who is a business marketing major, said that for most of the international students on campus, there are fewer chances for them to get a job with American companies. The competition is even harder when being compared to American students, he said.

“There is so much talent here which makes it hard but if we apply for internships, there will be more opportunities for us because companies can see the skills and abilities that we also have to be able to compete in the American market,” Lopez said.

Lopez said that an event like the career fair enhances these opportunities for not only American students at CSU-Pueblo but also for the students a part of the International Program.

The Career Center offers many services for students including individual career coaching appointments, personality and career assessments (strong interest inventory), resume and cover letter and employment letter development, career and major exploration tools, job and internship search strategies and postings, internship orientation, interviewing skill development and practice, and three career fairs each year.

The Career Center at CSU-Pueblo is located in the LARC, Suite 187 and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 719-549-2980 or email CareerCenter@csupueblo.edu.