Looking for a Job
Career Expo Opens Doors
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:05
The University Career Center kicks off another academic year with the Career Expo, which helps students of all classifications and majors network with prospective employers and gain insight into the job market for their particular degrees.
“It is a good chance for students to connect their degree plan with careers,” said Betsy Castro, associate director at the University Career Center. “Often, students might lack the information needed and don’t start looking for a job until they have a degree; it really takes nine months for a job to happen—interviews, applications and hearing back from the employers.”
The Career Expo, which has been around for 30 years, will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 20 and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 21, at the Don Haskins Center.
According to an economic update by the El Paso Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, El Paso had a 9.4 percent unemployment rate as of April, making the job search difficult, especially for recent graduates.
By attending the Career Expo, students can meet with potential employers and job opportunities for their future.
According to a survey conducted by Adecco, a job placement firm, 71 percent of recent graduates (2006-2010) wished that they had done more to be better prepared for employment while they were still in school.
“I really enjoyed the entire experience, especially since it was the first time that I attended the Career Expo in September of last year,” said Moises Razo Madrid, sophomore civil engineering major. “I didn’t find any jobs or internships, but the experience helped me become more confident in myself.”
For freshmen, the Career Expo offers a different kind of career exploration inside and outside of their degree. It gives sophomores and juniors the opportunity to learn about internships, volunteer opportunities and co-ops. Seniors are given the prospect of finding employment through this experience, as well as the opportunity to network.
“For the most part, the event is very well organized and well run,” said Cris Martin, junior multidisciplinary studies major. “It is great for students and potential employers to seek each other out and bring job opportunities to the foreground so that students may see what is actually out there for their majors, and even be able to interview on site and secure a position with some of the employers directly.”
The Canopy Campaign, held on Sept. 6, helped the Career Center further advertise the Career Expo by providing lists of employers who would be attending the expo in several locations throughout the campus.
“We will easily have more than 100 employers attending this event,” Castro said. “UTEP is a good source for employers to come.”
The Career Center also advertises the Career Expo through visits to student athletes, the labs across campus, the Honors House, Peer Advisors, SGA, Alumni Association, Outreach, UTEP Today, KTEP and the marquees located off of I-10 and Mesa Street. Pamphlets are also hand delivered to the deans of the colleges, assuring that the students attain the necessary information.
“Ideally, we would love to go to every class and talk about resumes, helping to prepare the students,” Castro said. “As of late, however, we can only give the professors a list of what the Career Center can do and what services we provide, ultimately inviting them to have us in their classrooms to educate their students more thoroughly.”
Prior to the Career Expo, students can speak with a Peer Career Advisor at the Career Center, located at 103 Union West, in order to prepare mentally and physically for the event. They can help students polish a resume, conduct mock interviews and provide tips when speaking with prospective employers.
“If it’s graduation and you just started looking for a job, it is going to be a harsh reality. It’s a tough job market, and you may not be ready to interview,” Castro said. “You have to prepare for all different scenarios—references, interviews, resume, etc. You have to prepare in advance, prepare your best self and practice.”
The Career Expo is funded by the Career Center, charging a fee to those employers participating. This money then goes directly to the Don Haskins Center; any donations made go to student organizations that help in this process.
More information about the Career Expo can be found at sa.utep.edu/careers/ along with the list of all employers that will be attending. The Career Center can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Lorain Watters may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.