CU at work: Red River Career Expo

Getting a foot in the door: CU students meet with potential employers at the 17th annual Red River Career Expo. The Expo was held on Feb. 20 in the Aggie Rec Center. The event is put on by Career Services; it was Career Services Coordinator Paula Merrifield’s first year to organize the Expo.

Getting a foot in the door: CU students meet with potential employers at the 17th annual Red River Career Expo. The Expo was held on Feb. 20 in the Aggie Rec Center. The event is put on by Career Services; it was Career Services Coordinator Paula Merrifield’s first year to organize the Expo.

Kaitlyn Stockton

Copy Editor

Cameron University’s Career Services wants students to find success.

Career Services held the 17th annual Red River Career Expo from 12:30 – 4 p.m. on Feb. 20 in the Aggie Rec Center. CU students, alumni and community members were welcomed to browse over 80 careers to find their dream jobs.

Career Services Coordinator Paula Merrifield said the Red River Career Expo is a career fair that provides students with career and networking opportunities.

“It’s actually the largest career fair in southwest Oklahoma,” Merrifield said. “We have approximately 80 – 85 employers coming. We attract over a thousand job seekers that come and look for jobs.”

Although this year is Merrifield’s first time planning the event, she said she is thankful for the support and service from other staff members in Student Development. She believes the career fair is vital for students.

“I have had a lot of help. This is my first year. Dr. [Jennifer] Pruchnicki has given me a lot of guidance on how to take care of everything since it is so large. We plan it a year out and start planning it as we go,” she said. “It’s a group effort. It’s a lot of work, but it is worth it.”

Local businesses not only made the visit, but also companies out of state made the trip to CU’s campus. Many graduate schools set up booths to interact with prospective students.

“Recruiters are hiring in all different areas. We have school departments coming. We have a lot of production coming. We actually have three coming from Nebraska. We have just about any career you can think of,” she said. “Hopefully, we will help some students find their dream jobs.”

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Students were not the only ones invited to the fair. Many community members also visited campus seeking potential job opportunities.

“It’s also open to the community as well,” Merrifield said. “We have a lot of military that comes out as well.”

Merrifield said the career fair is not just for graduating seniors.

She recommends students attend fairs at any level to learn the ropes of such events and to watch other students interact with recruiters.

“Even if you aren’t looking for a job, you can look for an internship,” she said. “Even if you are not in the market, you can go ahead and network with recruiters.”

According to Merrifield, this year’s event had a great turnout. “This year’s career fair was the most successful yet. We had a lot of students that developed internships, and many companies said they found some really solid potential employees.”

For the future, Merrifield said Career Services will offer even more opportunities to prepare students for interviews and their future careers.

With resume assistance and dress tips, staff will coach students for next year’s Red River Career Expo.

“We work with students a lot with practicing their handshakes and elevator speeches,” she said.

Merrifield recommends students attend next year’s event for even more opportunities and chances for success.

“I think it’s a lot of fun. You may be interviewed on the spot. You may leave with a job,” Merrifield said. “There’s a lot to be gained for it.

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