Career fair promotes diversity in the workplace

Students interested in a diverse workplace had the opportunity to speak with 50 recruiters at the Multicultural Career Fair Monday at the Illini Union.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the career fair welcomed all students, including alumni, regardless of ethnicity.

“There is something for everybody,” said Susan McKenna, assistant director of Advisement, Marketing and Communications at the Office of Minority Student Affairs.

This is the largest number of recruiters the career fair has seen in the past several years, McKenna said. In attendance were a variety of organizations, such as: Frito-Lay, Inc., Internal Revenue Service, Teach For America and the U.S. Peace Corps.

James Park, senior in LAS, said he found out about the career fair through a friend. Park spoke to representatives from Allstate Insurance Company and the Nielsen Company.

”I’m just expecting right now to talk to people, to learn more about the company, more about opportunities they have,” Park said.

In the past, 200 to 300 students have attended the fair. First held on campus in 1972, it was started by the staff of the Educational Opportunities Program at the University. Today, the Office of Minority Student Affairs, or OMSA, currently coordinates the career fair. The Career Center, with the help of other colleges and departments, assist in promoting the fair to students and recruiters. Carmen Young, senior in LAS, said this career fair has been beneficial.

“I get to look into graduate schools that I’m interested in and get more information that’s more personal than just picking up a phone and calling an admission’s counselor,” she said.

The OMSA will present more opportunities for students by hosting another career fair in February.

McKenna, who has coordinated four prior career fairs, stressed the uniqueness of the Multicultural Career Fair. She said freshmen through seniors can benefit from this career fair. It offers internships, service organizations, volunteer opportunities, graduate school programs and potential jobs with companies.

McKenna said she promoted this career fair this year to a wider audience.

“Students can come to this career fair and they know going in that the recruiters who are here, are here because they’re committed to a diverse work force,” McKenna said.