Allison Tjenstrom, a senior who is double majoring in marketing
, is excited to network with professionals, interview for open positions,
and hopefully find her first post-college job. She was one of more than 150
Hamline students to attend the Minnesota Private Colleges job fair, an annual
event designed to help students connect with employers and build networking
skills on several levels.
“This event presents the opportunity to interact with many companies
and organizations,” Tjenstrom said. “It really gives you the chance to go out
there and market yourself and find out more about what’s even out there.”
The fair, a collaborative event offered by the career development centers
at 17 of Minnesota’s private colleges and the Minnesota Private College Council
is in its 35th
year, and it continues to grow. This year, more than
150 employers were present, including locally headquartered corporations such
as Target and Best Buy, as well as dozens of non-profit and advocacy
“Our hope is that there’s something for everyone,” Terry Middendorf,
director of Hamline’s Career Development Center, said. “Our students have a
wide variety of vocational interests, and we always have a diverse group of
Given today’s economy and the intense competition for jobs in most
sectors, proactive career searching is becoming increasingly important, particularly
for soon-to-be college grads. The Minnesota Private Colleges job fair is
designed not only to help students find careers, but also to facilitate
practice on critical networking skills.
“It is imperative that graduates enter the work force with these skills
under their belt. This is a great opportunity to hone those skills in a live
setting,” Middendorf said.
The diversity of businesses and organizations present at this year’s fair
serves as an encouraging sign for those seeking jobs in a troubled economy, with
attendance among employers returning to pre-recession levels.
Casey Willmarth, a senior communications
major, is eager to take
advantage of the opportunity to see dozens of different career pathways all at
"Even if I don’t find the perfect job, I still want to get my name out
there,” Willmarth said.
This aspect of networking is critical, as many opportunities arise as the
result of connections made at the fair. For instance, Middendorf said he was
once contacted by an employer to find a recent grad who had delivered a resume
at the fair three months earlier.
“This event is a moment in time, but a lot can happen after it,”
Middendorf said. “You just never know.”
Find out about services offered to students at the Hamline University Career Development Center