Kristen Lott / Lantern photographer
With the unemployment rate in Ohio at 8.1 percent, many Ohio State students are trying to avoid the growing number of jobless college graduates.
To help students find unique opportunities for internships and employment, the Summer Internship Roundtable was held Tuesday at the Ohio Union. The annual fair is organized by Arts and Sciences Career Services to help students network and find internships and jobs.
Companies at the fair ranged from media groups like the Dispatch Broadcast Group, to banks such as Huntington Bancshares, Inc., to retail companies like Express, part of the Limited Brands, to The Hershey Company and The Walt Disney Company. Some companies were offering internships, but many were looking for students to hire full time if they are graduating soon.
Michelle Tedrick, a fourth-year in communication, said she came to the fair looking for an internship for after she graduates.
“I talked to inVentiv Communications, they work in more like pharmaceutical sales, so I talked to them about some positions since I’m actually graduating in the spring,” Tedrick said. “They do offer internships, they said, for people who are not in school so I could participate in a summer internship.”
Brandy Williams, a career adviser for Arts and Sciences Career Services, ran a booth to field questions from students and assist them in getting started in the job hunt.
Williams said students should market themselves to employers and know what they have to offer, and although preparation prior to the fair is important, it might be even more important to be confident and communicate themselves well.
She said students should avoid asking questions they could have already answered had they looked at the company’s website.
“Make sure you follow up, it doesn’t just end here,” Williams said. “There’s a lot that goes on after the event. They need to follow up with employers that they spoke with here today.”
Matt Verdelli, representing The Hershey Company, said they are looking to hire people for sales positions, but emphasized they look to hire those who can move into higher leadership positions.
“What we’re really looking for are the future leaders of our company,” Verdelli said. “We’re looking for somebody to start off where most of our vice presidents did and work their way up into leadership roles, to be the next CEO.”
Nick Height, district manager, and Nikki Mills, training manager, for Raising Canes (RCO Limited), both graduated from OSU in 2008.
Mills said she planned to take time off after graduating but was given the opportunity for a management position at Raising Canes and has been employed there ever since. She and Height highly recommend utilizing FutureLink, an arts and sciences website for students to post resumes for jobs and internships, where Mills sometimes looks for new people.
“For anybody who doesn’t want to put their resume out there and doesn’t like the kind of negative connotations of recruiters, it’s a great way (to get a job) because different types of organizations are trying to do their own research, and it’s a great way to get your name out there for an opening,” Height said.
Chelsey Salberg, a second-year in computer and information science, said she came to the fair specifically for internships in CIS and web design.
“I’ve actually been to the engineering fair and this is definitely more of like design and visuals. A lot of companies that do behind-the-scenes work,” Salberg said. “I just talked to the Mills (James) company, they’re really good about doing design and production and everything. The guy at Express actually works with the website and he was talking about the UI (User Interface). I would love to do stuff like that.”
Randy Dineen, internship adviser for the College of Arts and Sciences, said he and others reached out to employers about setting up booths at the fair. His main goal was to get a variety of companies.
“We try to pick a wide variety of employers, especially for an event like this. We tried to really broaden it out as much as we could with some corporate recruiters, some sports organizations, radio and TV organizations, some of the financial institutions,” Dineen said.
He said the university as a whole probably has more than 20 job and/or internship fairs annually. Other fairs, like the government fair or February’s upcoming nonprofit fair, are niche fairs that will have a smaller group of employers and will attract different companies.
“First and foremost, we just want to try to connect students with employers,” Dineen said. “Employers come to the event to recruit for either jobs or internships or possibly volunteer opportunities, so it’s just educating students on how to prepare for a career fair and doing our best to connect them with the right set of employers once they get here.”