Part time jobs fulfill full time promise

Step on up: Jennifer Pruchnicki mans the Career Services table as CU students and alumni sign in at the sixth-annual Part Time Job and Internship Fair. Eighteen companies, including newer businesses such as Panda Express, were all in attendance as students in work-ready attire strove to impress with their resumes.

Step on up: Jennifer Pruchnicki mans the Career Services table as CU students and alumni sign in at the sixth-annual Part Time Job and Internship Fair. Eighteen companies, including newer businesses such as Panda Express, were all in attendance as students in work-ready attire strove to impress with their resumes.

Sarah Brewer

Staff Writer

In the beginning of September, Cameron University students and alumni searching for employment and internships met with prospective employers.

Eighteen companies came for the sixth-annual Part Time Job and Internship Fair from 2 -4 p.m. on Sept. 5 in the McCasland Ballroom located in the McMahon Centennial Complex. Students and alumni had the opportunity to interview with possible employers.

Wendy Brown, the Employer Relations Coordinator at CU Career Services, was responsible for inviting these companies to campus. Brown said the event benefits the organizations that take part as well as the student and alumni in attendance.

“We try to get any local company that is interested in hiring for a part-time position and understand the needs for ours students and the needs with their schedules and their classes and are willing to accommodate,” she said. “If they are open to that, we are willing to have them here at Cameron.”

Tables were available for completing paper applications. Some students had several forms to fill out, and Brown said this space was to make an otherwise tedious process more comfortable and more convenient. Some students came to the event wearing ready-to-work office attire and were prepared to impress with their resumes.

“We always hope for it; we just want as many students to be able to actually get jobs as possible,” she said. “If we can open a door to a job that they didn’t even know was available, then we feel we’re doing our job.”

Some of the available positions came from companies that are on the verge of opening their doors for the first time in Lawton. Panda Express is one of the several businesses that are offering positions before their grand opening.

According to Matthew Barrington, the general manager of the Panda Express in Decatur, Texas, the CU Part Time Job and Internship Fair was the ideal setting for employers to meet potential student employees.

“We definitely want to include the community, and especially if there is college nearby, so we want to get involved with the college itself and use this as an opportunity to employ students and give them work while they are going to college,” he said.

Barrington said he took the position with the American Chinese restaurant chain because it gives its associates the opportunity to grow in tandem with the company. He said he was able to build rapport with students and was firm in cautioning them against sacrificing their education.

“While you’re in school, you have odd schedules, so you need to find an employer who is willing to work with you and be flexible with the schedule — not someone who will demand 48 hours a week from you — and wants to encourage you to continue your education,” he said.

Freshman Lindsey Comer came to the Part Time Job and Internship Fair with her friends to look for her first job. Comer has yet to declare a major, but she has already learned that most college freshmen are in similar financial straits.

“I think all freshmen college students have no money other than what comes into loans or what they work for,” Comer said.

She took applications from Burger King, McDonald’s and Comanche County Memorial Hospital because the locations of each are close to where she lives. Without precious working experience and a car of her own to drive, Comer said she has fewer jobs to consider, but she is thankful to have an easier way to get hired.

“Since I have never had a job, it is actually pretty complicated to get one here in Lawton  —  especially since it is a college town,” she said. “This fair is really helpful because you actually get to meet your employers.”

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