Students seek opportunities through job fair

Abbey Whittington, Associate News Editor

Ajah Tyson, a freshman family and consumer sciences major, is taking steps to create a better future for herself.

After coming from a minimum-wage retail job, she wanted to experiment with the opportunity to try and find a better job to create “stair steps” to a better future at Eastern’s job fair.

Students like Tyson gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union Tuesday to look for job and internship opportunities in a variety of fields.

Tyson is 21 years old, and after graduating from high school, she took a break and worked before transferring to Eastern this fall. She previously worked in Florida as a retail manager.

“You might as well have the connections; it’ll lead you far in the future,” Tyson said. “It’s kind of a little scary, but at the same time I’m kind of used to that scariness because I’ve been to so many job interviews in my past as well. It’s just finding the right one that will fit your own interests instead of going after the money.”

Tyson said she thinks freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors should all take the opportunities offered to them.

“It is a big opportunity to find a job because it is hard to find a job in the real world, and you have this stuff handed to you right now at a college,” Tyson said.

Allison Frees-Williams, the interim director of Career Services, said her biggest piece of advice for students coming to the job fair is to research the companies beforehand.

Frees-Williams said research is important for students to see what the company does and also to clear up misconceptions on what majors the companies are interested in.

“(The companies) may have several different opportunities for different majors,” Frees-Williams said.

Tonya Griffith, a people services representative from St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, said she advises students looking for internships and jobs to come prepared and confident to job fairs and other job-seeking opportunities.

Griffith said in human resources, they like to refer to something called an “elevator speech,” where a potential employee gives a spiel about themselves, their experience and what they are looking for in a career.

“Just come prepared with your elevator speech to open up a meaningful dialogue with your employer,” Griffith said.

She said most of the services at St. Anthony’s are clinical and in a hospital setting, but from time to time they look for internships geared for students in the business, marketing and information technology fields.

“For me specifically, I’m looking for someone who is going to meet my four core values,” Griffith said.

These values are respect, care, competence and joy.

Cheyanne Austin, a junior family and consumer sciences major with a focus in dietetics, said she is looking for companies that are holding summer internship programs.

Austin said she came to the fair to gain experience talking with professionals and being in a professional atmosphere.

“That way when I go to look further in the dietetic internships, I’ll have some background experience in what kind of questions are asked,” Austin said.


Abbey Whittington can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].