Students attend fifth annual career fair

Career Fair hosted on the third floor of the Academic Commons at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. Feb. 23, 2023. Renee Ye/The Occidental

Finding internships and jobs can be daunting for any college student, but at Occidental College, students have the Hameetman Career Center (HCC) as a primary resource for job and internship opportunities. The HCC held their fifth annual Career Fair Feb. 23 in the Mary Norton Clapp Library.

The Career Fair is important to students preparing for their post-graduate careers. Each year, a wide range of companies, organizations and non-profits come to Occidental to offer students the chance to explore career paths and network with professionals. Students were expected to wear formal attire and bring multiple copies of their resumé, according to a Feb. 22 email from the HCC.

Executive Director of the Career Center, Jamila Chambers, helps organize career education seminars, alum speakers and employment recruiting events such as the Career Fair.

“[The Career Fair] is an opportunity for employers across multiple disciplines [and] across multiple industries, to get the opportunity in a concentrated place in time to interact with Oxy students,” Chambers said. “The Career Fair is the primary way that we bring employers to campus; however, we have anywhere from 150 to 175 employers that came to campus over the course of an academic year.”

According to Chambers, putting together the Career Fair is an ongoing process.

“Planning for the Career Fair starts at the end of the next one, so it’s always about a year in the making,” Chambers said.

The selection process for employers is crucial in ensuring the event’s success. In working for a liberal arts college, Chambers said she prioritizes employers that will benefit the most students and tries to include a variety of fields.

“[The employers] that come are a combination of employers that have a long track record of hiring Oxy students [and] that are hiring across multiple disciplines,” Chambers said. “We don’t let employers come to campus if they don’t have an active job that they’re recruiting for.”

Carolina Canseco was the representative for JusticeCorps, a government agency designed to help self-represented litigants. She praised the Career Fair for its organization.


“I wasn’t going to be the representative originally, but as soon as they indicated that it was going to be me in attendance, everyone at Oxy was really kind and very communicative in terms of what to expect, what to bring, where to park, and I really appreciate that as an employer,” Canseco said.

The Career Fair serves as a valuable recruiting tool for employers, allowing them to screen potential candidates. According to Canseco, the Career Fair provides an opportunity for employers to introduce students to opportunities they may have been unaware of.

“Students are very busy. They’ve got classes, they’ve got personal lives, they’ve got extracurriculars, and it’s really hard to take time to do research on what positions are available and how to have a fulfilling career,” Canseco said.

Human Resource Coordinator Kayla Banks and Senior Human Resources Manager Douglas Knoy from PBS SoCal at the Career Fair at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. Feb. 23, 2023. Renee Ye/The Occidental

Attending the Career Fair offers significant opportunities to students, including gaining industry insights and enhancing their presentation skills, regardless if job-hunting is a priority. Like many other seniors, Cole Trembly (senior) said he went to the Career Fair looking for a job after graduation.

“[I am] interested in a full-time job now that I’m a senior. [I am] trying to get something lined up after graduation,” Trembly said. “I’m also nervous, but I’m excited. It’s going to be very different than what I’m used to.”

Trembly’s experience resonates with many students at Occidental. Biochemistry major Eleanor Goddard (sophomore) said that while the Career Fair is an excellent opportunity for students, it is common to experience anxiety when meeting potential employers and contemplating their future.

“I’m really excited, I’m just kind of freaking out right now,” Goddard said. “I feel like it’s scary going into the workforce as a 20-year-old. You don’t really know what to expect or how things work, especially in the medical field.”

To minimize anxiety, coming to the Career Fair prepared is essential. Goddard said she knew she wanted to apply to be a researcher at City of Hope, a non-profit that treats cancer.

“I have had my eye on this one research opportunity for a long time,” Goddard said “I really want to work with them because they do cancer research and I’m really into medical research, so I hope I made a good first impression.”

Students should attend the Career Fair regardless of their level of nervousness. According to Chambers, it is important to remember that the recruiters have traveled to Occidental specifically for the students and all have job opportunities tailored for future graduates.

“You might be a little apprehensive or think maybe they don’t want to talk to me, or I’m not sure how to approach.” Chamber said. “It’s understandable. It’s an unknown. [But] people are generally friendly, and that includes on college campuses.”

Contact Malcom Schiltz at mschiltz@oxy.edumal


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