Aggies for Hire: CU Opportunity Fair

By Bryan Araujo

Cameron University career services held their third annual CU Opportunity Fair from 2-4 p.m., Sept. 10, in the McCasland Ballroom.

The purpose of this event was to connect students and alumni with local companies looking for employees, interns and volunteers. People from the Lawton community were also welcome to attend the event.

Some of this year’s participating companies included: the American Cancer Society, Arvest Bank, Chick-fil-A, City of Lawton, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, Goodwill, Home Depot, KSWO Television Company, McDonalds, the USMC and Viridian Coffee.

Communication Junior Jose Olivo came to the event to scout for internship opportunities.

“I graduate next year,” Olivo said, “[I wanted to see] the opportunities that are ahead of me.”

Student Career Services set up a table to guide students and mediate between employers and attendees.

Career Services Coordinator Paula S. Merrifield said today was a special day for her office.

“This is for students to come and not just get hired,” Merrifield said, “but to also gain experience, internships, and volunteer hours, whatever they need to become more marketable for when they graduate.”

Merrifield said students benefit by attending events like these by building networking skills, forming partnerships, making connections and learning to work through interview anxiety.

“Whether you’re looking for a job or not, we tend to lack some of our career readiness skills,” Merrifield said. “So it’s about getting out there and maybe even just listening to how somebody else is doing it.”

Crowds of people moved from table to table looking for a chance to talk to each other.

Companies and organizations at every table pushed their individual brands with everything from banners and brochures, to free pens and other freebies.

Viridian coffee even handed out free iced coffees to draw people in.

Just like any student looking for the next step after college, accounting senior Kendra Mansfield attended the event for networking with the expectation of finding businesses looking for interns.

She found and signed up for a six-week tax training course, which is beneficial to her field, and she was excited to have made some connections with local banks.

 “Because my major is accounting,” Mansfield said, “I’m definitely interested in anything the banks had. One of the banks did say that they do hire seniors, so that’s me.

“They were all super friendly and super helpful pointing me in the right direction. Even if my major didn’t really have anything pertaining to them, they still told me what opportunities could pop-up kind-of related to accounting.”

Mansfield left the event satisfied and plans on attending future opportunity fairs.

Career Services is a subsidiary of the Office of Student Development.

They host career-building events throughout the year. Some of their workshops have included topics such as resume building, applying for jobs and preparing for job fairs.

For more information about Career Services, contact Merrifield at The Office of Student Development in North Shepler, room 314, or call 580-581-2209.

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