Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Rachel Maples is ready to begin her career after she graduates from Indiana University Kokomo in May. Fellow senior Jonathan Rogers wants a summer job before he starts graduate school in the fall.

IU Kokomo student Stephanie Barnes speaks with a potential employer.An IU Kokomo student speaks with a potential employer.

Both seniors were among the nearly 500 job seekers at the annual Kokomo Area Spring Job Fair, co-sponsored by IU Kokomo and Ivy Tech Community College.

Potential employees filled the Kokomo Event Center Thursday (April 4), dressed in business attire, résumés in hand, ready to meet the 80 employers offering jobs, as well as internships and volunteer opportunities.

A few feature at this year's fair was a workshop on using the LinkedIn business networking website, and also a chance to have a professional picture taken.

Tracy Springer, manager of the Office of Career Services/Disability Services at IU Kokomo, said the fair is an excellent opportunity for students and graduates from both institutions, as well as community members, to meet business representatives who may have opportunities available. It also gives local employers a chance to connect with potential employees all in one place.

"We want our students and alumni to use their degrees in this region after graduating," Springer said. "This fair gives them the chance to see what options are available to them here. It also helps our local business owners find the people who are the right fit for our community."

Rogers, a communication arts major, planned a day of networking, building contacts for future opportunities.

"I plan to talk to the local radio stations and build connections for post graduation work," he said. "I'm excited to see who is here and explore opportunities for summer employment before I start graduate school. My long term goal is to be involved with broadcasting or the entertainment field, so I'm looking for anything to help with that cause."

Maples, who will earn a degree in psychology, was looking for chances to work with teens.

"I would like to work as a case worker to get some experience while I'm going to graduate school," she said. "I'm here to make a good impression with some employers and hopefully use my degree to start my career path."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.