Career Fair 30+ years and still going strong

To the Editor:

As last year’s career fair co-chair, I am writing in response to the editorial “Career Fair helpful, but needs improvement.” A series of statements were made that were in fact quite inflammatory and were neither fair nor justified on behalf of the National Society of Black Engineers/Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Career Fair. “The organization and timing of the event made it more challenging for students already juggling lots of work to get the most out of it.” The date of the Career Fair is planned an entire year before the career fair even begins. The work for the fair, done by a staff of 30 full-time students, begins its planning stage well before the next career fair even happens. A fact that is often well hidden is that the day one career fair ends the work for the next fair is already starting.

“The Career Fair was over the same weekend as Reunion & Homecoming 2009, the official opening of East Campus Athletic Village, and between weeks when many students had exams. The timing of the event led students to choose between improving or maintaining their GPA by testing well, or working on a resumé to get a co-op, internship, or full-time job.” What information is missing from that statement is that the aforementioned events were planned around the career fair because of the high number of alumni drawn back to campus by the career fair. Despite the fact that the odds were stacked against this career fair with the number of events coinciding that weekend, the event was in fact a success. For over 30 years the NSBE/SHPE Career Fair has been providing a service to this campus free of charge and rarely is credit given where credit is due.

“While it is a point of pride for NSBE and SHPE that the career fair is so large and entirely student-run, the fair should definitely be looking to improve next year given the challenges of finding jobs and work in general …” I honestly challenge the campus at large to apply for a staff position for the career fair and see what really goes into the fair to make it work. Many will be surprised to see the various intricacies of putting together an event of this caliber. My sincere congratulations go out to this year’s tri-co-chairs Tequisha Hendrickson ’10, Ayriel Hunt ’10 and Ruby Ramirez ’10, as well as the staff of the 31st Annual NSBE/SHPE Career Fair. I sincerely hope that before any opinions or statements are made against an organization, facts are first discovered and then disclosed.

Denisha S. McPherson