CSUN career center hosts spring job fair

Ismael Robles, who graduated in May 2010, came to the spring job fair at the Northridge Center to look for work opportunities. Photo Credit: Virginia Bulacio / Staff Photographer

Hundreds of students participated in the Spring 2011 Job Fair that was hosted by the Career Center on Wednesday where 87 booths were set up in the Northridge Center at the University Student Union from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Business representatives tried to garner student interest by pitching internships and potential career opportunities.

Sarah Le Long, 25, the Career Center’s interim employer services event coordinator said that there were more companies present at this year’s job fair than last year and a lot of what was available were sales positions and internships.

“We (Career Center) try and get opportunities to our students,” said Le Long, a CSUN alumna who majored in art.  “But if positions aren’t available then we suggest to them internships.”

In fact internship was a very popular word around the event, with the County of Los Angeles, PetSmart, ABC7 and many others trying to fill their internship programs.

One of the vendors, Rodney Hoston, the human resources analyst for the county of Los Angeles Department of Human Resources, said that having the practical experience that an internship can provide what can set one applicant apart from other applicants in the future.

“An internship gives you exposure to an organization as well as provides you with practical experience and hopefully help you identify the areas you don’t like as well as the areas that you do like,” said Hoston, a 1978 CSUN alumnus who majored in finance and marketing.  “There is nothing worse then getting started in a job that you hate.”

Freshman Kato Matthews, 31, business major and Jillian Terwedo, 22, a senior screenwriting major and Vidhi Shah, 26 a senior manufacturing and system engineering major, along with many others all attended the event hoping for more career opportunities then internships.

“My friend told me about it, they know I need a job,” Matthews said.  “They told me to come and take advantage of the opportunity, you never know what you’re going to find here.”

Both Terwedo and Shah currently have internships and were looking for networking possibilities.  While they both liked the layout of the job fair and that numerous companies were presen,t they didn’t find much in their specific fields.

“I liked a couple of things, there was KTLA and ABC7, which I liked a lot, they’re closer to my field, but I’m more interested in film and television,” Terwedo said.

 

One thing that Shah didn’t like however was the booths that were for graduate colleges.

“There are a lot of universities and education system up here (at the job fair), like they’re having a stall and everything, I think this is a job fair, why are universities here?” Shah said.

Ben Blum, 36, A CSUN 2009 alumnus who majored in sociology was disappointed with the lack of job opportunities and the over abundance of internships being offered.

“I found it discouraging that there were so many internship opportunities and not really companies that were interested in hiring permanent employees,” Blum said.

Internships, at least many of those offered, were not meant for graduating seniors or Alumni.  Most required the applicant to be an enrolled student, and that the internship would count as credits toward a degree.

While internships may not be what graduating seniors and alumni are looking for, they can be valuable opportunities for juniors and seniors.  Terwedo and Shah said they appreciate the networking opportunities and the experience they obtained at their internships.

“Get as much practical experience as possible while you’re going to school,” said Hoston.