In Search of a Career

Hundreds of USF students and alumni turn out for a Career Fair at the Marshall Student Center Wednesday.


Video credit: Dani Barta | USF News


By Daylina Miller

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 1, 2012) -  Hundreds of University of South Florida students and alumni turned out for a Career Fair Wednesday at the Marshall Student Center that featured both local and national companies in the hiring mood.


Drema Howard, the director of USF’s Career Center, said that despite the tough economy there were hundreds of active jobs at the companies attending the fair, and that students need to get away from the mindset that there are no jobs and they won’t get hired.


“Because the economy has been tough, students don’t realize employers are beginning to hire again,” Howard said. “It has picked up over the last two semesters.”


Recent USF grad Hannah Brenenstuhl is proof. She graduated from USF last May with a bachelors degree in international studies. After a summer of backpacking Europe, she came back to Tampa and attended USF’s fall career fair.


There, she landed an interview with C.H. Robinson, an international, third-party logistics provider, and has been working as an operations representative for the past three months. There will be opportunities for her to be promoted from within and travel internationally.


“I think USF has a lot of tools for alumni and current students to utilize from their website, as well as coming to these career fairs,” Brenenstuhl said. “It’s free to students and alumni and it’s just a great way to network and meet people in your field.”


Graduate student Karun Soundcrrajan recommends that before students come out to the fair, they research the companies they’re interested in applying to so they can go in and ask the right questions.


“A week before [the fair] I research all the companies I am interested in and once I get a good feeling of what they want I go, I meet with them and tell them a little bit about myself,” Soundcrrajan said.


Soundcrrajan is always impressed by the diversity of companies that come out to the career fair.


“There are a lot of companies here,” Soundcrrajan. “That’s one thing I like about the career fair. It definitely gives you the chance to see what companies are out there that fit your personality and the type of educational background you have.”


The unemployment rate in Florida has slowly dropped since last summer, according to the United States Department of Labor, from 10.7 percent to 9.9 percent from July 2011 to December 2011.


This makes it higher than the nation-wide averages of 9.1 percent to 8.5 percent from July 2011 through December 2011, but there are jobs available for motivated, hard-working individuals with an education, Howard said.


“We want to help students understand not to wait,” Howard said. “Cast a wider net. Network at the career fair. We’re here to help.”


USF’s Career Center offers a variety of services, aside from career fairs.  Part-time job and internship fairs, job interview skills seminars, resume critiques and more are offered to USF students and alumni.


On Thursday, Feb. 2, a career fair for technology, engineering, science and accounting will be held in the Marshall student Center Ballroom from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students are required to dress in professional attire- ties are required for men- and students are encouraged to bring their resumes.


Daylina Miller can be reached at 813-500-8754.