OXFORD, Miss. – The national economic crisis did not discourage more than 40 vendors ranging from hospitality management to law enforcement from visiting the University of Mississippi campus this week is search of potential employees among some 400 eager students.
The daylong Applied Sciences Career Fair, held Wednesday at the Inn at Ole Miss, gave the students an opportunity to explore a variety of careers in the fields of social work, communicative disorders, legal studies, family and consumer sciences, and health, exercise science and recreation management.
The School of Applied Sciences started the career fair three years ago in response to students who wanted a way to connect with agencies in their specialized fields of study, said Jim Stafford, associate dean.
“It keeps growing a little every year,” he said. “We’ve had well over 400 students come through, and we filled up all our vendor tables. We even had vendors sharing tables.”
Agencies represented at the fair included the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Bureau of Drug Enforcement Administration, regional law enforcement and child welfare, as well as representatives from recreation and fitness centers, rehabilitation and medical centers, residential treatment centers, and hotels and restaurants. The opportunity for students to meet these potential employers face to face is increasingly important as unemployment figures in the country continue to rise, Stafford said.
“You need to give yourself every possible break you can today, and the more contacts you make, the more connections you have, the better chance you’ve got.” Yakine Hill, a senior paralegal and legal studies major from Jackson, said she was encouraged by the number of vendors in attendance and got the sense that there will be jobs available for graduates.
“[The career fair] allows us to see what’s out there, maybe careers that we did not consider before,” she said. “I was surprised to see the variety that was here under applied sciences in general.”
James O’Brien, executive vice president of Wilson Hotel Management Co., was able to talk with a number of students interested in a career in hotel management, and he said he thought the quality of students attending the career fair was excellent.
“I think [career fairs] are a great way to get to see students,” he said. “Those are the people that we are going to hire.”
For more information on the School of Applied Sciences, visit http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/applied_sciences/ .