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February 13, 2014

Students network with multiple businesses at career fair

By Timothy Simko

On Feb. 7, the Cleveland State University Department of Career Services hosted a career fair in the Woodling Gym.

The gym was lined with booths from a variety of businesses. There were many representatives from the various corporations explaining what their companies were looking for. Numerous students flocked through the rows of booths with resumes in hand.
The event was designed to give students opportunities to network with potential future employers.

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Granfors felt it was a great opportunity to recruit students.
“There was a huge turnout with many qualified people,” said Granfors. “We always appreciate CSU having us.”

Gransfors explained the benefits of a Cleveland State student joining the Army. If a student joins the Army they would get $12,000 towards college one time through the GI Bill, and would get $4,500 in tuition assistance every year. In order to get this assistance, a student would have to sign a six-year commitment to the reserves.

Gransfors also noted that college graduates could benefit from joining the Army.
“If you get your degree beforehand you can be an officer,” Granfors said.
Sam Jakabcic, a regional manager for Conrad’s Tire Express and Total Car Care, was also looking to recruit people for his company.

“Any college degree is acceptable within our organization,” said Jakabcic. “We look for individuals from entry level up.”

Jakabcic noted that he considered Conrad’s a unique stand at the career fair and that not a lot of students look at Conrad’s as a career opportunity.

Despite this, Conrad’s is above the average compensation structure.

“Our top earners in the company are in the 5 percentile,” said Jakabcic. “We have people making six figures running stores.”

There are currently 34 Conrad’s stores, with two more being built this year. Conrad’s is a family owned business in its 45th year that is not open on Sundays or in the evenings.
Jakabcic sees the career fair as a tremendous opportunity for students, and is looking to find students who have good people skills and are good communicators.

“I like to see a competitive nature within someone,” said Jakabcic. “You’ve got to want to win.”

Jakabcic believes that people with that mentality will do very well in the business world.

Rebecca Vance, an employment consultant for Healthspan, agrees that students with a competitive mentality will do well.

“We look for someone who is well prepared and very open,” Vance said.

Vance noted that in an interview, she likes to see someone who is well dressed, is smiling and does his or her research on the organization prior to the interview.

“I also like to have an idea of what the students want to do within the organization,” said Vance. “Sales aren’t for everybody, and marketing isn’t for everybody.”

Vance also enjoys seeing a well-organized resume. Because Healthspan only takes resumes online, Vance can’t review them at the fair and the resume is the best way to make a first impression.

“I like a resume in an easy to read format that is grammatically correct with no misspellings,” said Vance.

Vance stressed that she also likes seeing a list of goals and accomplishments students have made throughout their college careers as well as any internships they may have done. This would make a student stand out, according to Vance.

“You can be a salesperson and you could be licensed but you could not have sold anything,” said Vance.

Curt Laubschr, a fifth year senior at Cleveland State double majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Physics, is hoping to talk to potential future employers while at the career fair.

Laubschr is hoping to find a career with Rockwell Automation, Swagelok, or the NASA Glenn Research Center. In the past he has done internships at Frederick, Frederick & Heller Engineers Inc., as well as Aclara RF Systems Inc.

While manufacturing is his secondary choice within these companies, his primary choice is “anything that interests me.”

Yolanda Burt, the Director of Career Services at Cleveland State, was excited to see the networking that is taking place between corporations and students such as Laubschr.

“The career fair really gives students a chance to engage with employers,” said Burt.

There were 130 companies at the career fair seeking all majors and all fields, according to Burt. Some of the companies at the fair were hiring for co-ops while others were hiring for internships.

Burt noted that a lot of the employers that attended the fair are alumni.

“They [the Cleveland State alumni] are looking to give back,” said Burt.

Burt explained that Goodyear is one example of an employer consisting of alumni. Goodyear is even planning giving a presentation to a class on campus.
Burt also stated that she is pleased to see students contributing to the workforce.

“This is a very good thing,” she said. “It’s exciting to know that students at CSU are positively influenced by the region.”