Technology aids students in job search

Next week, FAMU’s Career Center will present Career Expo 2003, “In the constant pursuit of excellence.”

Students who may have missed the career fair in the fall have a second chance to network with a number of businesses and organizations.

The opportunity to gain internships, co-ops and full-time employment will be waiting beyond the doors of the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center Tuesday.

These opportunities have not always been available, but as time passed, student enrollment increased and technology became dominant.

Delores A. Dean, director of the Career Center, said they have come a long way from the first Career Expo that debuted in 1989.

Over a period of two consecutive days, 98 corporations gathered in the Grand Ballroom where students had their first chance to network with recruiters. Every year thereafter, the Expo has been held at the Civic Center.

The number of corporations, agencies and organizations involved with the Career Expo grew from 98 to a maximum of 250.

Not only did the Expo become more popular among recruiters, but among students. The number of students registered with the Center increased from 500 to approximately 1400.

There are several differences between today’s career center and yesterday’s placement office.

Today, students can walk into the C. C. Cunningham building and start the registration process on one of the many computers that are available. If registration is not complete before the student leaves the center, the student may continue at any time, on any computer with Internet access.

“Once a student is registered they do not have to come into the center for anything, everything is on the Web,” Dean said.

In the past, students were registered manually. They would fill out their information on an index card that was placed on a bulletin board according to the student’s major.

A folder that included a resume, interview schedules, and any other pertinent information was kept on file for each student.

Joan Sweet, co-op education coordinator, said, “The process was labor intensive.”

“We [the Career Center] have grown in the sense that only two interviews could be scheduled for the same time,” Dean said. “Now we can have up to 18 scheduled interviews once,”

The interviews don’t always have to take place on campus. They can occur via video conferencing.

Through technology, students have access at all times, not just between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to complete registration, sign up for interviews and research companies.

Sweet advises students to utilize the resources of the career center.

“If you take advantage of all the services we have to offer, you will have at least two offers by senior year,” Sweet said.

“The career center’s major focus is providing the resources and services for students to be more professional, competitive, and marketable,” Dean said.