||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
Annual Career Conference Slated|
For Oct. 8 at UW-Eau Claire
MAILED: Sept. 28, 1998|
Representatives of 120 organizations will be on hand next month during the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's annual Career Information Conference.
The 41st annual Career Information Conference will run from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 8 in Zorn Arena. Companies, non-profit organizations and health care facilities will have representatives in Eau Claire to talk to the estimated 2,500 people mostly UW-Eau Claire students who visit the conference each year.
"We're seeing more health care facilities, non-profit organizations and graduate schools sending representatives than ever before," said Jim Oleson, of UW-Eau Claire's Career Services office. "Last year we had more students coming to it than ever. And the students are freshman through seniors from all different majors, schools and colleges."
For most students, the Career Conference provides an opportunity for them to talk with representatives of companies or organizations about careers they are considering, Oleson said. For others, it's a chance to renew contact with companies with which they have already interacted and, in some cases, it's a chance to firm up job offers.
"The seniors will likely have already talked to many of the companies in the past couple of years," Oleson said. "But this is not meant to be strictly a recruiting effort. It should be an exchange of information that tells our student what kinds of people, skills and abilities companies look for in new hires.
"We encourage freshmen and sophomores to get in there and meet people. If we catch students early, they still have time to learn a new skill or take a certain class that will give them the skills in which an employer is interested."
It's never too early for UW-Eau Claire students to begin networking with potential employers, Jeanne Sinz, director of Career Services, said, noting that more than 80 percent of all jobs are found as a result of networking.
"Most job-seekers don't utilize this strategy effectively, either because they don't know how or they don't begin early enough," Sinz said. "It's no secret among employers that networking is the most effective way to hire people. That's why companies and organizations are so eager to participate in UW-Eau Claire's Career Information Conference."
Many students incorrectly assume that the conference is just for business majors, Oleson said. But in recent years, companies have been more interested in particular skills than in particular majors, he said.
"More and more companies hire a certain type of person and train them themselves," Oleson, noting that communication skills are among those skills companies seek. "There is more of an awareness that they should hire college-trained people and not just those trained in a specific major."
The daylong conference, sponsored by Career Services and Beta Upsilon Sigma fraternity, gives employers access to high-quality and motivated, Sinz said.
"Networking is really a long-term investment," Sinz said. "It's a skill and a tool that employers and students can use to build relationships and to share information. We're always interested in ways we can connect our students with prospective employers and this is one of our most popular programs."
More faculty are meeting with company representatives at the conference, learning what skills they want UW-Eau Claire graduates to bring with them, Oleson said.
While many UW-Eau Claire students are finding jobs with large Midwestern companies, more and more are moving farther away from home to take positions with small businesses, Oleson said of shifts he's noticed in jobs taken by UW-Eau Claire alumni.
"I'm amazed at the number of graduates who are taking the more non-traditional routes," Oleson said. "They are taking the interviewing skills they develop on campus and using them to go out on their own to find interesting positions with different often smaller companies in all parts of the country."
The World Wide Web is helping that process, Oleson said, noting that more employers and job seekers are connecting via the Internet. More organizations post openings on the Web and more job seekers put their resumes out there, he said of the information exchange.
"It's a good job market right now better than it's ever been," Oleson said. "There are lots of vacancies, lots of companies looking.
In conjunction with the conference, this year Career Services will host its first Wardrobe Seminar at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5, in the West Blugold Room of Davies Center. The seminar is designed to help teach students how to dress for job interviews, as well as how to dress for the job itself, Sinz said.
"We're hoping to give students tips on how to dress for the Career Conference but also ideas about appropriate business wear in general," she said, noting that people will model clothes as well as lead discussions about things such as casual business wear.
The Career Conference is free and open to the public. For more information about the conference or how companies can connect with UW-Eau Claire students, call Career Services at (715) 836-5359.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Sept. 29, 1998