With plenty of competition when job hunting, college students or recent graduates may find themselves in a rut when it comes to seeking a job.
Once a year the Career Fair is held at Sonoma State University, where students can practice and prepare to meet employers and get a taste of industry exposure.
The Career Fair is an event hosted by Career Services and organized by Ann Mansfield, the school’s career advisor. She makes sure the employers and companies involved, are just as ready to network and build potential relationships as the students attending.
Located in the Ballroom of the Student Center, this is a place for college students and alumni to look for a full time or part-time job, or even an internship. This opportunity lets students get out of their comfort zone as they approach employers and market themselves on a professional level.
March 1 will mark the fourth annual Career Fair, which Mansfield has been preparing for since October in an effort to attract 1,200 students.
“We recruit and build relationships with companies to let them know Sonoma State has great talent and [to] educate them on utilizing Career Services to help fill their employment needs,” Mansfield said.
This year the fair will have 122 employers represented, from familiar companies such as Lagunitas, State Farm Insurance and corporations like Target and Walgreens. The fair will also highlight police departments from all over the Bay Area.
Students can also prepare themselves by attending a preview called Professional Development Week that will be leading up to the event.
Professional Development Week consists of workshops held from Feb. 20 toFeb. 23 where students are taught how to dress, present themselves and answer questions correctly. The week leading up to the fair allows students to receive feedback on their resume from an industry professional.
“This is a growing opportunity for students in enhancing their professional brand. You put a face to your resume, so having the one to one contact with employers will strengthen their candidacy,” said Monica Lopez, a fifth year business major.
Passionate about the Career Fair, Lopez has attended the past three fairs and is now working under Mansfield’s wing to help students build confidence and achieve their fullest potential.
“We want our students to be as well equipped as possible,” Lopez said.
Students attending for their first time can be caught off guard by the size of the fair.
“Walking into the ballroom and seeing so many employers is overwhelming, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from talking to them,” said Myla Thompson, a student scheduled to work the fair. “They are here to help us students and this is the perfect chance to ask questions and learn what they really want from an employee.”
The event can be beneficial for students of all grades and ages, especially those lacking experience.
This event is free and students are encouraged to attend. For more information, and to pre-register visitwww.careerservices1.wixsite.com/careerfair2017.
Students can also sign up on-site before entering as long as they are professionally dressed, and have a résumé in hand.