Students flock to fair

By Talesha Herbert

As students in black, maroon, brown, green and gray business suits looked for success, recruiters checked for potential.

The Career Planning and Placement Center’s Fall Job Fair was held Wednesday at the Convocation Center.

More than 120 employers attended the fair, ranging from Hewitt Associates to Abbott Laboratories, as well as more than 1,000 student participants.

“I think it’s going really well,” said Ellen Anderson, assistant director of counseling for CPPC.

Anderson said students were confident about the fair, although the job market isn’t very healthy right now.

“It’s taking students a longer time to find jobs,” she said. “The job market is a roller coaster sometimes.”

Students need to get past name recognition and look for jobs with unfamiliar names, where more opportunities are, Anderson said.

Brian Harwell, a senior management major, said a lot of companies haven’t hired since Sept. 11.

Although Harwell said the job market is tight right now, he said there were many available positions in management.

“I am very pleased with the turnout,” he said. “A lot of companies are here.”

NIU alumna Dominique Moore believes the economy has slowed down, as well.

“Prior to Sept. 11 attacks, there was a demand for students in the information technology field,” Moore said. “Now students have to settle for whatever positions are available until the market is better.”

Howard Lin, a graduate computer science major, has participated in two job fairs before, and said many companies aren’t hiring many foreign students.

Chia Tai, a junior computer science major, said he was a little nervous during the fair, but wanted to experience talking to recruiters.

“It’s a pretty good experience,” he said. “They give us a better chance to find a job.”

Since the economy has been affected, the number of employers participating in the CPPC job fair has not been high, compared to previous years.

Three or four years ago, the number of employers attending was 240, compared to about 130 employers this year.

Although the employer participation numbers have declined, Anderson said the representation still is good for the shape that the economy is in.

Kathy Loverude, a recruiter for Hewitt Associates, a global outsourcing and consulting firm, spoke with 150 students during the first two hours of the fair.

“We have seen some great technical students,” Loverude said.

Loverude also said that students she spoke with were definitely qualified to work with the company.

“We have a really good relationship with NIU,” she said. “I’m happy with the success.”Emily sullivan photo

Chris Sloat (left), a finance alumnus, speaks to Willie R. Davis (center) and David J. Mueller of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.