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Career fair gives Northern students a chance to meet employers

 

February 12, 2014

Lindsay Brown

Eli Kindred, left, and Brandon Wakefield, both graduating from Montana State University-Northern this spring, look through information provided at booths at Tuesday's Spring Career Fair. Employers from throughout the area were on hand to visit with students about career opportunities.

The career fair at Montana State University-Northern Tuesday was a success for both participating employees and attending students.

Many companies and organizations set up tables at the event - so many that even after making room for more than the usual number of spaces available, the career center still had to turn away prospective employers.

Mary Heller, the director of the Career Center at MSU-N, said next year's career fair will be moved to the Armory Gymnasium because it has grown too large for its usual spot in the Student Union Building.

There were 32 employers at this semester's fair and six were turned away. There were 26 spaces for rent and within the first week, they were sold out. Heller said they then consolidated enough space for six more tables and those were sold even more quickly.

Companies and organizations such as Havre Public Schools, Butler Machinery, the Center for Mental Health and John Deere had the SUB Ballroom packed with students.

Heller said the fair gives students practice for their job searches after their college careers.

"What we're trying to teach them is that networking is so important," Heller said. "We're trying to get them used to talking to employers."

The Havre Job Service also had a table set up at the fair to give students and alumni an opportunity to hone their skills in searching for and keeping a job.

Carol Lamey, manager of the Havre Job Service, said they offer assistance to anyone who needs help finding a job, and they help many MSU-N students with resumes and techniques their clients can use to find and hold a job.

She added that Job Service also uses some funding to help students pay their tuition. They are helping roughly 12 to 20 students currently.

"Our biggest role is helping them be better informed," Lamey said.

Butler Machinery, which sells CAT machinery, is a gold-level participant at MSU-N's career fairs and Sedric Trevithick, a service manager for the company, said the company gets a chance to talk to future employees at the events.

"The school here is a dedicated school," Trevithick said. "There are many dedicated people that come out of here."

Trevithick said his table at the SUB Ballroom sees many students - several of whom they will interview. Many of the companies and organizations that set up booths at the fair will stay to interview students they spoke to throughout the day.

Lindsay Brown

Dozens of booths, set up by companies looking to hire, line the Montana State University-Northern Student Union Building during Tuesday's Spring Career Fair. Companies included Torgerson's, NorthWestern Energy, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Stillwater Mining Company.

"Last year, we interviewed 27 students," Trevithick said. He added that they may interview many more MSU-N students or alumni outside of the career fair through the information they pass out to the students who visit their tables.

Jen Henderson, the employment coordinator for the career center, said this semester's career fair was a record-setter with 251 students who signed in.

"I think that's the best number we've ever had," Henderson said. "Last year, we had 180."

Heller said the MSU-N Career Center helps students and alumni with many things related to finding a job. They help students prepare for interviews with tips and advice, including how to dress, how to conduct themselves during the interview and how to write a good resume. She and Henderson, the two employees of the Career Center, also help students acquire internships that many of the employers set up.

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Contact John Paul Schmidt at 406-265-6795, ext. 21, or at jpschmidt@havredailynews.com.

 

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