FAMU students and alumni crowded the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center Wednesday to attend the C.C. Cunningham Career Center’s fall career expo.
The event kicked off the recruiting season for the semester and students came out in moderate numbers. Dolores Dean, director of the career center, said even though there were more students attending this year as opposed to last, she hopes more students will attend in the future.
“With the 12,000 students that we have now, we’ll get about 1,200 students coming in,” said Dean. “We need to increase those numbers. We’d love to have more numbers.”
This September, both the economy and labor markets have been expanding at a slow but modest pace, according to an economic report from the Center for American Progress. There were 2.8 million more jobs in August 2012 than when the economic recovery started in June 2009.
As a result, Dean said there was a significant increase in recruiters.
“Last year this time, we had 76 companies come out,” said Dean. “Now we have 92 companies, so we went up in the number of recruiters. With the economy in the status that it’s in right now, we are very excited about having so many companies participate.”
Companies such as Macy’s, Allstate and Ernst & Young showed their interest in the FAMU student body. Sherri Smith, a contractor and candidate developer from Fidelity Investments, said it was a good turnout.
“The resumes have been pretty good,” said Smith. “The students’ advisers have really helped students to be prepared on what to ask and what to look for.”
Students also agree that preparation was key in interviewing with potential employers.
“The professional leadership development course definitely prepared me for situations like this; being able to talk to corporate guests,” said Alexia Wallace, a third-year accounting student. “So I wasn’t nervous or scared. I came in confident, and I put what I learned to good use.”
Compared to other universities, students said this career expo rises above the rest.
Jonathan Washington, a graduate MBA student and Bethune-Cookman University alumnus, said it was a definite change from that of his alma mater.
“Their career fair compared to this one is like day and night,” Washington said. “Cookman would have maybe three or four corporate companies, but here you have Fortune 500 companies.”
Dean encourages students to attend future expos and hopes more staff members will promote the cause.
“I’m hoping that we can get more faculty members involved so that they will make sure their students will come out to attend these career fairs,” said Dean, “because nowhere else can they go to see 92 companies at one time.”