Career fair attracts employers


What could be better for internships and job prospects than a building full of more than 200 local, national and international employers?

The All-University Career Fair at Bramlage Coliseum has become a K-State tradition over the years, bringing in employers from across the nation and from overseas.

Career and Employment Services sponsors the career fair, which started Tuesday and ends today.

“It’s an exciting day for students,” said Dottie Evans, career fair chair and associate director of Career and Employment Services. “Students are really trafficking to the career fair; we’ve seen really, really good turnout.”

Evans said the fair is right on track to be as successful as last year, when about 5,000 students attended across both days. Evans said the fair has been an annual event for more than 20 years, and it is always a success for companies and students. She said it is quite a daunting task to put the fair together.

“None of this would happen without a committee of 10 representatives,” Evans said. “We have representatives from each college.”

The committee began working on the career fair in April.

“I learned about different opportunities, and I’d say it was pretty successful,” said Kathleen Neugebauer, senior in animal sciences and industry.

Neugebauer said the fair was a great opportunity to look for internships and to network.

“I made some good connections, hopefully,” she said.

Conner Douglass, junior in construction science and management, said he was really looking to use the career fair to find internship opportunities.

“It’s been good. I talked to a couple of people,” Douglass said. “I’m looking for an internship for the summer, and a lot of people are here for December grads.”

While the fair provides students an opportunity to talk with employers in their fields, companies also find the fair a useful recruiting tool.

“We have a real core group of employers who consistently come to K-State because they really like the students that they find here,” Evans said.

One group consistently attending the All-University Career Fair is the Salina Chamber of Commerce.

“This is a well-run event, and students are very polite, and I’ve had other employers each year tell me how impressed they are with the students at K-State,” said Maureen Toll, director of workforce program development for the chamber. “It’s an opportunity to get a heads-up on people looking for internships, and we can circulate that information.”

The Salina Chamber of Commerce represents more than 1,200 companies in the Salina area and is looking for people of all different educational backgrounds.

Toll said a fair like K-State’s is a great place for the chamber because there are so many students with different career interests.

“Our biggest thing is to market our companies and the opportunities that are there,” she said. “We want them to know there are opportunities in Salina, Kan., at home.”

Evans said while the fair has a large group of employers that attend the fair consistently, there are also those who are attending for the first time.

Lafarge is one of those companies. Based in Paris, Lafarge is an industrial company that has employers all across the world.

“It’s going OK,” said Allyson Wolfram, human resources manager for Lafarge. “The fact that it’s our first time at this career fair, having gone to some other career fairs, it’s a little bit slow; people don’t know Lafarge.”

Wolfram said the more the company builds a brand here, the better it will be.

“It’s been a positive experience,” she said.

The career fair is scheduled today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bramlage Coliseum.