Job fair attracts students interested in health services

Freshman+pre-physical+therapy+major+Esequiel+Salas+receives%0Ainformation+on+occupational+therapy+jobs+from+Beth+Wilcox%2C+a%0Arepresentative+from+Allied+Health+Professionals+LLC+at+the+Heath%0AProfessions+Job+Fair+on+Monday.%0A

Freshman pre-physical therapy major Esequiel Salas receives information on occupational therapy jobs from Beth Wilcox, a representative from Allied Health Professionals LLC at the Heath Professions Job Fair on Monday.

Shelby Devitt

Career Services hosted 30 health profession companies at the Heath Professions Job Fair in the Duke Ellington Ballroom Monday.

Representatives included hospitals, physical and occupational therapists and Navy and Air Force recruiters.

“This is where the rubber meets the road,” said Brandon Lagana, director of Marketing and Information Resource Management for Career Services. “This where students who have been in classes preparing can meet with employers.”

Lagana encouraged students to come to job fairs throughout their college careers.

“Instead of waiting until you’re a senior, you can come in and prepare semester by semester,” Lagana said.

Paul Horner, representative of Comprehensive Rehab, Inc., 1377 Eleventh St. Clinton, Iowa, was also impressed by the younger crowd.

“I’m surprised at the amount of undergrads out there seeking information already,” Horner said. “I think it’s great.”

Students could walk a circle through the ballroom to visit tables staffed by representatives of each company offered information and take-away items like free water bottles, pens and stress balls.

“I heard about this and looked online to see what employers would be here,” said Devin Hill, sophomore pre-physical therapy major.

Hill said he planned on looking for a job that would offer observation hours.

“I think it’s better to come when I’m younger,” Hill said. “Hopefully they’ll remember my face.”

Representatives at the fair also acknowledged the benefits of exploring job opportunities early.

“With the Navy, the application process is so long,” said Chief Eliot Franklin, Medical Professional Placement manager for the Navy. “If you come in and start early, there’s no lapse in the transition. You can go directly into the job after graduation.”

Employers can also connect with students at job fairs in a unique way.

“It’s basically the one of the only ways we get in touch,” Horner said. “It’s a more personal side of things, more so than a phone call or sending something in the mail.”

Alumna Sue Leffler was the representative for Midwest Orthopedic Institute, 2111 Midlands Court in Sycamore. Leffler, who graduated last year, came to a job fair hosted by career services to explore internship possibilities and now works for the same company she interned with.

“This is how I got into this company,” Leffler said.

Lagana also suggested students take advantage of Huskies Get Hired, formerly known as Victor eRecruiting, a website where students can upload resumes and get in contact with potential employers.

“The national news says … students are behind the eight ball and that no one’s hiring students, but employers are coming back here, looking for students to hire,” Lagana said.