Florida A&M graduate student Tamara Henry, 27, entered the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center last Wednesday dressed professionally, ready for a job with her resume in hand. The Miami native was among hundreds of students attending this semester’s Career Expo.
Henry attended the expo with hopes of developing a list of Fortune 500 employers and internship opportunities. Her goal: to secure a career in supply chain management. As an attendee of the expo, Henry is among a sparse group of students who are reaping the benefits of the underutilized services offered by the FAMU Career Center.
The center hosts a career expo each semester to allow students the opportunity to connect with prospective employers, according to Delores Dean, director of the Career Center.
“Employers can talk to students about the internships [and] the full-time employment,” Dean said. “It’s an opportunity to kind of get a look at what we have to offer here with our students and a chance for the employers to start the advertisement and recruiting for those type of positions.”
Knowing the caliber of employers that would be in attendance, Henry did extensive research to hone the type of positions she was looking for, as well as which companies offered those opportunities, before she arrived to the expo.
“I was definitely looking for the more notably famous Fortune 500 companies, she said. Ones that are supply chain inventory-oriented, such as Wal-Mart; Johnson & Johnson. Basically any place that can offer me the opportunities to gain supply chain logistic experience.”
Dean said some students are not as dedicated when it comes to proactively seeking employment. Many do not use the various opportunities the Career Center offers.
“Students should definitely, no matter what their classification or what they are majoring in, take advantage of each of the career fairs,” she said.
As the job market continues to reflect a decline of gainful employment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 14 percent of African-Americans are currently unemployed; Dean emphasizes the urgency of participating in career-oriented events and services.
According to Dean, employers are looking for integrity and analytical skills, as well as skills in communication and problem solving.
“The employers that I talked to said that they were very pleased, Dean said. They were seeing the students that they needed to see. In terms of the students I have talked to, they were appreciative and glad they came to this event.
For more information about the resources the Career Center offers, visit www. careercenter.famu.edu.