Red River Career Expo

By: Drue Watkins

From 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. on. Feb. 21, the Office of Student Development and Career Services held their 22nd annual Red River Career Expo at the Aggie Recreational Center.

According to the Cameron University website, the Red River Career Expo is designed to bring CU students and Lawton community members together.

The main intent is for attendees to find job opportunities through local employers—a professional meet-and-greet networking event where people exchange resumes and information.

Each year, the expo is free to all students and local community members who are interested in finding a regional or local job.

Over 65 different companies attended this year’s expo.

These companies featured a variety of occupations, including: law enforcement, graphic design, food service, computer engineering, public relations, education, business, health care and media.

The attendees set up their stations in individual, 8’ x 8’ draped booths—from there, they designed their stations with posters and recruitment papers. Each booth could only house two recruiters.

Cameron Career Services Coordinator Paula Merrifield said the expo is a major opportunity for Cameron and its students— particularly for those students who are graduating.

“A lot of the potential employers are local,” she said, “and it [the expo] brings those employers onto campus where they can build those connections with students and the university.

“A lot of these companies will come to Cameron and provide opportunities for networking and a chance to show what Lawton has to offer—which is crucial for students who will be out looking for work in the near future. Some [employers] even establish relationships with student organizations, an example being Enterprise, who meets with Delta Sig.”

Merrifield also said the expo is a very positive thing for the community outside of Cameron.

“It’s just a lot of great economic development,” she said. “By bringing in people even beyond Cameron, we really make it [the expo] a regional experience. “It’s important to get as many people involved and interested as possible.”

While the expo is primarily focused around finding job opportunities through local

employers, several universities from around the Texoma region also attended the event—Cameron among them—to showcase educational possibilities related to graduate, higher-level studies.

Merrifield said she hopes students gain valuable experience from the event.

“The main thing I want students to walk away with is confidence,” she said. “Confidence and a direction to start moving in. I know how it feels to be a college student looking for work; it was intimidating for me to approach employers back then, so I can relate to that experience.

“For me, it’s all about gaining and continuing to pursue that confidence. The confidence that you can approach an employer, that you do have valuable skills they want from your experiences at Cameron. Attending events like this show you are competitive and are able to sell yourself.”

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