University career fair attracts students, employers

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Kent Bruna, senior in agribusiness, talks to propsective employers at the All-University Career Fair. The fair is taking place Sept. 20-22, 2016, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum. (Nick Horvath | The Collegian)

Nearly 400 companies are traveling from across the Midwest and the nation to seek Kansas State students and alumni for career, internship and co-op positions. The K-State Career Center is hosting its annual fall semester All-University Career Fair in Bramlage Coliseum Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For the first time, the all-campus event spans three days. Kerri Day Keller, director of the Career Center, said the transition to a three-day career fair has been in the works for more than five years because of limited space for employers.

“We wanted to be able to accommodate as many employers meeting our students as possible,” Keller said. “A lot of employers really love recruiting K-State graduates because they make very well-rounded future employees.”

Tuesday saw students from the colleges of Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration and Human Ecology. Today is open to all majors, and Thursday focuses on recruiting majors in engineering and technology.

“We hope that it will enhance the student experience so that if students have particular kinds of organizations that they’re looking for that they’ll be able to find them more easily,” Keller said of the industry-specific days.

Alexandra Lyle, sophomore in biological systems engineering, attended the career fair for the second time in search of a summer internship.

“I think (the goal) is to give students the opportunity to look at a lot of companies that they never would have thought to look at because, at least for engineering, there’s a lot of companies that want engineers that you would never imagine want engineers,” Lyle said.

The Career Center provides students with additional services leading up to the event, such as the Fast Pass, which Keller said helps reduce some of the time students spend waiting in line to get in. Last year the Career Center handed out more than 1,000 Fast Passes to students who ordered ahead of time, and Keller said they expect that number to keep rising.

The Career Center also offers mock interviews and resume critiques year-round.

The VIP Tours are specific for freshmen to get an idea of what goes on at a career fair. Keller said she has noticed companies are recruiting students for internships at a younger age in recent years.

“We want students to get comfortable with meeting employers and having that discussion about who they are and what they have to offer to an employer,” Keller said.

Cargill is one of many nationwide companies that are regulars at the career fair.

“We come to K-State because this is where we seek out the best talent, and we’ve invested in that talent,” said Morgan, a Cargill representative and K-State alum, who could not release his full name due to company policy.

Morgan said the company is consistently impressed with the K-State students they hire.

“Last year K-State was the number one school, above Iowa State, for college recruits for internships and trainees,” Morgan said.

An ATA bus will run from various locations on campus to the career fair every 10 to 20 minutes. Students are advised to bring their Student ID and multiple copies of their resume, as well as dress professionally. Visit k-state.edu to search employers attending, view an ATA bus map for the event and prepare for the career fair.

“K-State is quite a draw for a lot of employers,” Keller said. “Sometimes it is particular majors like grain science that we have here, but the other thing is, a lot of employers recognize and have experienced that K-State graduates bring more than just their education. They bring a lot of experience and a work ethic quite often, and those are the things you can’t teach, you can’t train in an individual.”

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