Multicultural job fair provides students with opportunities

Students of all backgrounds were invited to attend the Multicultural Career Fair.

The event was sponsored by the Office of Minority Student Affairs on Monday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Illini Union.

About 47 companies came to the fair and had tables set up, including Kraft Foods, the Illinois State Police, Allstate Insurance, Jewel-Osco and Cunningham Children’s Home. Students were encouraged to bring resumes and cover letters along with them.

Some recruiters were expected to stay on campus Tuesday in order to conduct formal interviews with interested students. The interviews are being held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the fourth-floor meeting rooms at the Illini Union.

“I came here to try and obtain a full-time position for when I graduate in May,” said Michael Walker, senior in LAS. “It’s just a great experience to help you build up your skill and talk to people about jobs.”

Beeonca Brown, senior in AHS, said she attended the fair to look for a job while applying to graduate school for occupational therapy.

“If I don’t actually get in, I’m looking for a job as a ‘Plan B’ to get myself started, save up and apply again to OT (occupational therapy) school,” Brown said. “(The career fair) was very helpful. I would definitely recommend it.”

The Office of Minority Student Affairs holds this event normally in the fall. In the spring, the office participates in the All-Campus Career Fair. The purpose of the multicultural fair is to give recruiters the opportunity to target a specific population of students if they are looking to diversify their workforce, said Terrance Stevenson, assistant to the director of the office.

“It’s also an opportunity for us to help underrepresented students gain access to companies that they may not necessarily have access to,” Stevenson said.

He added that although the fair targets underrepresented students, it is open to anybody who wishes to attend.

He said typically, each year the ratio of minority and non-minority students is relatively even.

“In this economic climate, I think it’s really imperative that students really focus on not waiting until their junior or senior year to start thinking about careers and employment, but start their freshman year working with the Career Center,” Stevenson said.