Career fair season commences

Each semester the University of San Diego hosts a career fair open to all undergraduate students, regardless of their majors. The career fair is an event for students to network with the various companies of their interested field and start developing those connections.

The Career Development Center (CDev) hosts two major career events throughout the year. The first, Torero Talent, is always in the fall semester. This year it will be held on Sept. 22.  In the spring semester, students will have the opportunity to attend the Career Expo. Each event is designed to assist all majors, hosting over 80 companies. According to CDev, about 400-500 students have attended in the past.

As a business major, junior Angela Yanaguibashi has a positive perspective toward career fairs.

“This is the time to explore and ask any questions that come to mind without the fear of being judged,” Yanaguibashi said. “The whole purpose is to expose students to potential careers.”

While the companies are there to share information and their insight, it is ultimately up to the students themselves to make the most of their time.

“It’s an obstacle that prevents many from reaching their goals,” Yanaguibashi said. “You need to put yourself out there and not be afraid to approach and speak to the professionals. The professionals are aware that the people coming are students and most may not even know what they want to do in the future yet.”

Unlike some of her peers, Yanaguibashi has an idea of what she wants professional life to look like post-graduation. She would like to start her career off in public accounting and then branch off from there once she has a few years of experience under her belt.

“I hope to gain further insight on my chosen industry and to expand my network,” Yanaguibashi said. “It’s what gets your foot in the door. Without a large, quality network, it’s nearly impossible to get a good job these days, especially with an increasingly globalized world.”

According to the class of 2016 statistics, courtesy of the Career Development Center, 94.2 percent of graduates were employed, in graduate school, in the military, or participating in full-time volunteer service.

On the other hand, communication studies major Andie Zaharias Kern finds the lack of career fairs for her major frustrating.

“My field is very broad so there are various ways to use a degree in communication studies,” Zaharias Kern said. “I would find it immensely beneficial to host a career fair focusing on my future field.”

There is a common misconception that the career fairs mainly cater toward particular majors.

Robin Darmon, Senior Director of CDev, spoke on behalf of her department.

“Career fairs may not be the best fit for all majors so we are trying to come up with new and better ways to fit them,” Darmon said. “Some majors don’t have a linear career path and are more complex with lots of different paths so it’s hard to organize potential employers for them.”

Majors like engineering, mathematics, and accounting are seen as linear because there are certain steps laid out for them to take in order to be successful in their career. However, the Humanities department encompasses the complex majors Darmon mentioned.

“Sometimes it just doesn’t make the lightbulb pop,” Darmon said. “A lot of the times for these students it takes going into the companies, meeting with the big names, and networking to really open the students eyes.”

For students who need the in person experience, CDev offers Torero Treks. These are opportunities for students to visit leading companies within their desired field.

Darmon noted CDev is flexible and will do what they can to assist their students.

“We are in exploration mode right now,” Darmon said. “We want to do what our students want and what the companies would want and meet somewhere in the middle.”

In the recent year they have added an addition to the list of career fairs — the non-impact career fair.

“We started working with the Changemakers Hub and those interested in nonprofits,” Darmon said. “It’s really cool to see how it has helped us think about companies differently. When we started collaborating with students, in working with them we were opened up to a different target market based on student interest.”

Darmon recommended students go beyond the realms of the university’s resources.

“We are encouraging students to think more on a broader level,” Darmon said. “Students should utilize Handshake and LinkedIn.”

Handshake is a website where students, career centers, and recruiters can come to meet, talk, and share opportunities. LinkedIn is a business and employment oriented social networking service  that operates through websites and mobile apps.

The career fair provides  different things to everyone. For some that may be the chance to introduce themselves to the business world and expand their networks. For others it could mean the opportunity to land an interview with the company of their dreams. CDev also provides other resources for those who choose not to attend career fairs. Regardless of what path students chose to pursue, they will hopefully walk away one step closer to their professional goals.

Taryn Beaufort | Opinion Editor | The USD Vista