Students explore career options

N-Career-Fair Colby Patterson
Students speak with a company at the Career Fair on Tuesday in the Union. Photo by Cole Tan.

Students speak with a company at the Career Fair on Tuesday in the Union. Photo by Cole Tan.

Making the transition between student life and professional life can be a daunting prospect, but the U hopes to change that.

The annual U career fair was held Tuesday in the Union. More than 1,200 students attended to learn about job opportunities and connect with potential employers from 114 different companies.

Scott Varner, a junior in business management, represented the U’s Career Services department at the fair. He said the fair helps students find internships on campus.

“Often they’ll even have next-day interviews,” Varner said.

Sanjay Sharma, a graduate student in information systems, said he felt optimistic about the opportunity to meet potential employers at the fair.

“If your résumé is good, you will probably get one-on-one attention, and then there’s a chance that you could get an internship. It really makes a big difference,” Sharma said. “They will be getting thousands of résumés, so you need to make an impact when communicating with them.”

Sharma said it is important to come to the fair prepared to make a strong impression with the companies. He used the opportunity to network.

Valery Pozo, the Career Services counselor overseeing the fair, said she was excited for U students entering the workforce.

“Our U students are well-prepared,” Pozo said. “In general, our students tend to have more work experience than other campuses, so the students coming to these employers already have work experience and transferable skills that are going to be of importance to these companies.”

Pozo said students face a variety of challenges when searching for employment after graduation. She explained how events like the career fair can help students better understand the processes behind building relationships with recruiters.

Nicole Nixon, a senior in communications also representing Career Services, said she hopes events like the career fair would open students up to the opportunities Career Services offers.

“There is so much help that students can find through Career Services and through the website that students just don’t know about,” Nixon said.

The waitlist for companies at the fair exceeded 20 this year. Student attendance increased compared to last year, Pozo said. She hopes students will leave the fair with a better understanding of the opportunities available to them.

“I want students to come away with a tangible idea of where they could work,” Pozo said. “I’m hoping that they can start to see the link to their career path after college.”

a.jose@chronicle.utah.edu