Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — John Fantuzzo considers his career options, with his college graduation just a few months away. Raisa Hale wants to find a job to help her pay for her education, without a lot of debt. Stephanie Adair looks for an internship to bolster her resumé.

IU Kokomo, Ivy Tech Job FairRaisa Hale speaks with an employer at the IU Kokomo, Ivy Tech Job Fair.

All three were among the 275 job seekers at Tuesday's Kokomo Area Spring Job Fair, co-sponsored by Indiana University Kokomo and Ivy Tech Community College.

Adair, a sophomore business marketing and management major, had a successful day, learning about three internships she qualifies for, and scoring an interview for a part-time job.

"This helped me learn more about what opportunities are out there," she said. "Some of the employers have internships they don't advertise, but make available when they find someone qualified. Now I know about those, and can apply."

In addition to meeting representatives of more than 70 area businesses, those attending could participate in workshops about getting started with the LinkedIn business networking website, and have a professional picture taken for free.

Potential employers were pleased by the turnout, said Tracy Springer, manager of the Career and Accessibility Center.

"Though the numbers were smaller than in the past, it meant they could speak to more participants one on one, and take longer meet with each one, rather than hurrying to the next person," she said. "It also presented a great chance for the students to network with more people, because they weren't having to wait in long lines."

Preparing to graduate in December, Fantuzzo talked to several employers, "keeping my eye out for what opportunities there might be for me."

He felt good about his chances of finding a job after he completes his degree in business management.

"I'm open to anything, and there seem to be plenty of opportunities," he said. "I found some today that seem to be worth looking into some more."

Hale, a communication arts major, isn't sure what she wants to do after graduating in 2015. She attended the job fair for ideas, and to look for a job to help her pay her way through school.

"With all of these employers in one place, I thought it was a good chance to get some ideas," she said. "I'm trying to graduate without a lot of debt, so I thought this would be a good place to find a job to help me."

She said the job fair made her search much easier than it would be otherwise.

"If I just said, 'I'm going to go on a job hunt,' I wouldn't know where to start," she said. "This gave me the start I needed."

The fair is a great opportunity for area businesses to find new employees, said Lynn Taylor, a professional recruiter for Community Howard Regional Health.

"I've been impressed with the quality of the candidates," she said, adding that she was happy to find at least two good applicants for a systems analyst job, one she typically has a hard time filling.

She is almost always hiring nurses as well, and likes that this job fair is close to graduation.

"This is a good time of year because a whole pool of new nurses will graduate soon," she said. "That's why I like to come to this job fair in particular."

IU Kokomo alumna Amanda Shoultz participates in the job fair each year, hiring for Button Motors and McGonigal Buick GMC Cadillac, where she is commercial and outside sales manager.

"We've hired some very good candidates in the past at this fair," she said. "It's exciting to see the potential coming into our community. I've had some very good prospects today, and I'm excited about what the opportunities are."

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.