First NIU job fair set for next week

By Amanda Martin

NIU’s December 1988 and May 1989 graduates might have something more to look forward to than just crossing the tassle on their graduation hats over to the right.

Career Planning and Placement statistics state NIU graduates can look forward to stable placement rates in fairly good-paying jobs within their first year out of NIU. Graduating students also can get a head start job hunting next week when NIU will host its first job fair Dec. 7 from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Holmes Student Center’s Duke Ellington Ballroom.

Unlike cooperative education fairs held in the past, the “Great ‘88 Job Fair” will host companies looking to fill permanent positions rather than student internships.

Gary Scott, career planning and placement director, said more than 80 companies in the Chicago area will be represented at the fair, and “that number is continuing to grow. We weren’t expecting such a good response, and we’re really pleased.”

Students attending the job fair are encouraged to register in advance at the placement office on the second floor of Swen Parson Hall.

Callary also recommends that students bring their resumes to leave with companies. There will be a resume writing seminar today in Swen Parsons, room 329, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. for students who need help preparing a resume for the fair.

Scott said he believes the fair will be an opportunity for students to interview and make themselves known to several good companies and possibly walk out with a job. “December grads may never have a chance like this again,” he said.

Many liberal arts and sciences graduates also will be pleased to find many companies at the fair looking at their resumes, a trend the career planning and placement office has been encouraging.

Jean Callary, recruiting and fair coordinator, said “selling” LA&S graduates to companies has been one of the office’s goals.

“We’re here for all students, not just the business majors,” Scott said. “The quality of NIU graduates is a lot better than students and high school guidance counselors and the general public think.

“All our graduates are a valuable commodity. We’ve been encouraging recruiters to look at other majors and expand their employment base.”

Callary said, “The Liberal Arts graduate definitely has a place in the business world and employers know that. We have more and more companies who list all majors (when recruiting).”

Callary attributed LA&S graduates’ writing, communication and research skills to their marketability after graduation.

This year has been one of the “best years ever” as far as the number of companies recruiting NIU graduates and the rate of placement are concerned, Scott said. However, he said he is disappointed that students are not asking for interviews.

Scott estimated the average number of requests by students for interviews has declined from about 12 to five or six. “Students this year are being very selective,” he said.

Scott said his office has been working to place all majors in good jobs and encourage them to continue their studies in their chosen fields.

“You should pursue something you can be committed to. The opportunities are there,” Scott said.