KOKOMO, Ind. — As a recent Indiana University Kokomo graduate, Andrea Smith is eager to take the next steps towards a career in human resources or management.
She found several promising leads at the annual Kokomo Area Spring Job Fair, hosted in conjunction with Ivy Tech Community College at the Kokomo Event and Conference Center.
“I was able to meet a lot of interesting people, and I was given many job opportunity resources to take home with me,” said Smith, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration in December. “The State of Indiana booth seemed the most promising, and I also found a few volunteer opportunities through the United Way and the Kokomo Rescue Mission.”
The Greentown resident was among approximately 300 students, alumni, and community members attending the annual fair, which included 91 employers, with opportunities ranging from health care to government, and military to auto manufacturing. Attendees could also find possibilities for volunteer service, internships, and summer employment, making the event valuable for students of all levels.
“The job fair is not just about finding your future career, it’s a way to find the internships and opportunities that make a résumé stand out in the crowd,” said Nicole Miller, employment specialist for IU Kokomo’s Career and Accessibility Center. “Students can benefit from attending from freshman year on, to see potential jobs in their career fields, and to network with potential employers.”
While Cameron Gregory doesn’t graduate until 2020, the accounting major attended to explore career possibilities for when he completes his accounting degree, and also look for possibilities to enhance his résumé.
“I’m looking for an internship to fill a class requirement, and I also like helping out charitable organizations or not-for-profits,” he said. “It helps with finding a career.”
He was happy to meet with representatives from banks and credit unions, and to talk to someone from FCA about internship possibilities.
Gregory, from Kokomo, felt like career center programs prepared him to succeed.
“The career service center is very helpful,” he said. “They help you get your resume in order, and help you with job interview practice questions. I really have to thank them for that.”
Miller noted that her office offers its career preparation programs prior to the career fair, so students know how to create a résumé, dress professionally, and answer interview questions to make the best first impression possible.
With a job already lined up after he graduates in May, Logan Macaluso attended to see what kinds of service opportunities are available.
“I want to give back by joining a not-for-profit, so I was looking to see what’s here,” the communication arts major said, adding he found one that offers a scholarship he could use for graduate school.
Brittany (Miller) Reed, who graduated in May 2018, was on the other side of the interview table for the job fair, in her position as staff recruiter for Bona Vista.
She had several open positions to fill with the organization, which provides preschool for children of all abilities, as well as services for adults with disabilities.
“Being here gives me the opportunity to meet many people, from all demographics,” said Reed.
As a recent alumna, she said the job fair is a valuable experience for job seekers.
“You get to make a first impression in person,” she said. “You can’t get that if you just send in an application. It’s better to meet face-to-face.”
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.