Over 50 employers and grad schools to be at career fair

by Shara Tibken

Dozens of employers will be gathering in Cowles Athletic Center on Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for Simpson College’s annual career and graduate school fair.

“Career fairs have been a long-standing thing because you’re in your own element,” said Denice Ross Haynes, director of counseling and career services. “Employers come to you. They want to meet you. They want to talk to you and see if you’re a good candidate for their company.”

Some of the employers coming to Simpson include Blank Park Zoo, the Peace Corps and Principal Financial Group, as well as graduate schools such as Drake University Law School and the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

“So far we have over 50 signed up, but there could be more employers and grad schools before Feb. 3,” said Ann Greubel, administrative assistant for career services.

The career fair is geared toward seniors and juniors, but freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to attend as well.

Members of Students In Free Enterprise will be helping the CCS staff and the employers at the fair.

“Part of SIFE’s mission is to provide an education on the free enterprise system, so I had talked with Denice from CCS on some things we’d like to partner with as far as educating students,” said Tom Schmidt, SIFE advisor and assistant professor of management. “We’re also going to have a booth within the career fair and talk about what SIFE is. We’re also going to be sponsoring a venture capitalist lecture.”

Along with the career fair, CCS will be holding activities throughout the week to help students prepare for their job searches and actually find jobs.

“Career Week was just sort of a way to cluster activities that will bring awareness of what we’re doing,” Ross Haynes said. “It will be a time we set aside to help students start the process.”

CCS employees will be answering any questions in the BSC gallery on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2.

Some changes were made from the process last year.

Senior Essentials Night, which usually occurs in the fall, will be held during the Career Week and will have an employer panel and roundtable discussions.

Companies represented on the employer panel include Meredith Corporation and Allied Insurance.

“We’ve actually doubled the size of the employer panel,” Ross Haynes said. “The employers talk about how to get that first job, the importance of internships, what people are looking for, what the career world is like today, and how you might interact with the world and get a foot through the door.”

Another addition to the Senior Essentials Night is a workshop on starting a business.

“Something that we’re doing very new is a start-your-own-business workshop,” Ross Haynes said.

Ross Haynes said the idea for this workshop sprung from conversations with students.

“There are students I have talked to personally who have expressed ideas and goals of having their own businesses,” Ross Haynes said.

CCS and SIFE also plan to host other activities together in the future, but for now, they will be busy hosting the career week activities.

Schmidt said the career fair in particular is a valuable experience for students.

“Students just gain a lot of experience, whether or not you get a job out of this, whether or not you have a real direction as to what you want to do,” Schmidt said. “It gives you better focus down the road. … You may have your eyes opened about opportunities you never thought about.”