Expo attracts job seekers

Laquia Geathers was on a mission.

The senior business administration student from Upper Marlboro, Md., was at the Career Center’s spring Career Expo to make sure she wouldn’t have to endure running through mud pits and shooting at enemy targets.

“I can’t go into the military,” she said. “My mother and all her friends are in the military and I don’t want to go there.”

Geathers, who graduates in May, said while anything in her field would be fine, she’s looking for her first experience in the real world.

She wasn’t alone.

Thousands of area students went looking for an internship or job at the job fair. More than 100 recruiters came to the Tallahassee area looking for the best students for their jobs.

“This is where we find folks with good education and communication skills,” said Will Weston, the state diversity champion for GlaxoSmithKline, a pharmaceutical sales company looking for a “handful” of competent sales reps from the Tallahassee area.

Last summer, Weston said nearly 20 students from FAMU were selected to sale their products in the U.S. and foreign countries.

Others like Arvind Kuppusamy hope to get interviews lined up with perspective employers.

“A lot of people I know have gotten jobs from here,” said the 23-year-old graduate student at FSU from Madras, India. “And there are Fortune 500 companies here.”

Zandra Davis, 20, is scouting out networking resources so that when it comes time for her to graduate in 2004, she’ll have the upper hand.

“I’m trying to come out and be in the mix,” said the computer information systems student from Miami. “I heard its good exposure to meet the companies and see the different opportunities they have for you.”

Banc of America, the investment banking company not to be confused with its national banking chain, Bank of America, came to the Expo with hopes of filling three internship positions in Charlotte, N.C., Chicago and Dallas.

“We’re looking for students with strong financial backgrounds … and who are up for national as well as international opportunities,” said Kate Jones, recruiting associate with Banc of America.

Kuppusamy, graduating in May with his master’s in industrial engineering, said he’s been on the lookout for a job since the beginning of the school year. But with graduating looming, he’s stepped up his search efforts.

“Now I’m really looking,” he said. “I have other job strategies – the Internet, networking – but I’d be very happy if I heard something today.”

At the end of the day, Davis has collected business cards and spread her name to the recruiters at the job fair. She hopes her day’s activities will come to fruition before she graduates.

“Maybe they’ll remember me for this.”