SF State Career Expo hooks up students with employers

Aubrea Felch talks with SF State student Haley Margolin about Galileo Innovation Camps for Kids at the SF State spring job fair on Friday, April 12, 2013.  Photo by Samantha Benedict / Xpress

Aubrea Felch talks with SF State student Haley Margolin about Galileo Innovation Camps for Kids at the SF State spring job fair on Friday, April 12, 2013. Photo by Samantha Benedict / Xpress

If you walked into the main gym at SF State from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 12, you would have found a campus job fair filled with dozens of booths representing a variety of companies.

SF State’s Career Expo gave students access to numerous companies looking to hire students and recent graduates. Representatives at the fair ranged from Enterprise car rental to the military to Walgreens. Many SF State students were there, dressed for an interview, to meet and make strong impressions on these companies.

Some companies, like the Defense Contract Auditing Agency, come to every job fair and representatives have coworkers who graduated from SF State. The DCAA is a government agency that audits companies who have contracts with the government.

“There’s a variety of students here, we’ve been approached by students of different backgrounds and different majors,” said Lin Tran, an auditor from DCAA.

While they do come to each job fair, their search for students is very specific.

“We look for accounting majors, or any majors with 24 semester units of accounting,” Lin said. “We actually have a few auditors graduated from San Francisco State. Two of them started with me, back like seven years ago.”

Another company that had a very specific search was Soliant Consulting. Once hired by a company Soliant employees build custom software tailored to that company’s needs and problem areas, which can range from websites, web applications and databases.

Their search is for technical students.

“We’re finding a good match with both computer science and actually information systems,” said Gillian Gentry, a managing director at Soliant.

While those are the students that fit best, they’ve also been approached by many other students.

“We’re seeing a lot of folks in the humanities, and so, if people are in the humanities and technically-minded, they could learn the database development and do that, but it’s not as natural a fit,” Gentry said.

Because many of the companies at the job fair did have specific searches for students and their areas of study, some students, like Adam Louie, weren’t able to find much that applied to their major.

“I think the only thing I’ve found was the Peace Corp, but that was really about it because everything else is like UPS or Walgreens or public transportation, stuff like that,” said Louie, a recreation, parks and tourism major.

Even if it is rare for some majors, the SF State job fair offered career opportunities for a wide range of majors.

Gallileo, for example, operates summer-day camps all through the Bay Area and is looking to hire their summer staff.

“I think there can definitely be a place for different backgrounds,” said Amy Clark, a 22-year-old child and adolescent development major who works at Gallileo as an on-campus recruiter. “A lot of them are focused on science or outdoors and a wide range of interests, and I definitely think you can develop leadership skills and communication skills and develop professionally.”

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