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Career Fair set for Nov. 14

Career Fair set for Nov. 14

University of the Ozarks will welcome a record 40 businesses, organizations and graduate schools to campus on Thursday, Nov. 14, for the University’s annual Career Fair.

The Career Fair, which will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Rogers Conference Center, is an opportunity for University students to connect with local, state and international businesses and organizations as well as graduate and professional schools.

Ruth Walton, director of career services, said she estimates that more than 250 students will attend the event.

“I am excited that we reached our goal of 40 organizations and businesses to attend our annual Career Fair,” Walton said. “It is refreshing to experience so many companies understanding how important it is to have a presence at a university career fair.  Not only is it a cost effective way to recruit; it is building and fostering a collaborative partnership. We are a small, yet, mighty school.  As our University grows its enrollment, companies and graduate schools can depend on University of the Ozarks to provide them with top candidates for their programs.”

U of O students are encouraged to dress in interview attire and bring their resumes to the event.

Over 260 Ozarks students and staff took advantage of the opportunity to meet with representatives from businesses and other organizations at the spring career fair, held on Tuesday, February 26 in the university's Rogers Conference Center.

The spring fair featured booths from 28 organizations which provided information on a wide range of career and educational opportunities. Among the organizations represented at the fair were:

  • An area television station
  • An area public school
  • Branches of the armed forces
  • An area law enforcement agency
  • Two summer camps
  • Three state governmental agencies
  • A number of nonprofit organizations and corporations
  • Nine graduate/professional schools

Plans are already underway for the fall 2013 Career Fair, and Ozarks' director of career services, Kimberly Spicer, reminds students that the career fairs are an excellent opportunity for them to make connections with potential employers and to get a head-start on applying for various internships.

"Networking is the #1 source of job leads for job seekers," Spicer said. "The career fair is a convenient opportunity for students to visit with recruiters to learn about current openings and to receive insider tips on applying."

The fairs are also a great way for students considering graduate school or other professional programs to learn more about options available to them. "It provides students who are considering graduate school with the opportunity to talk directly with grad school professors, Deans, and graduate students about their programs and experiences," she added.

To learn more about the services offered by Ozarks Career Services, contact Spicer by email at kaspicer@ozarks.edu or by phone at 479-979-1320. You can also follow Career Services on Facebook to find out more about events like the fall and spring career fairs, and for helpful tips on the job search, securing an internship, or preparing for graduate school.

"Spring

Regina Wilson and Leslie Walter, recruiters from the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism, discuss internship and job opportunities with students at the annual spring Career Fair, held on Tuesday, February 26th.

Clarksville, Ark. --- On Wednesday, February 29, Ozarks Career Services played host to recruiters from 27 different organizations during the spring career fair, held in the university's Rogers Conference Center.

According to Kimberly Spicer, career services director, the number of organizations represented at the fair was up from recent fairs, due in part to the slowly improving job market. Spicer said that this job growth, while still not at pre-recession levels, has allowed organizations to put more resources into recruiting. The 27 organizations at the fair represented a broad array of job and educational opportunities, offering access to representatives from graduate schools, professional schools, school districts, summer camps, local businesses, corporations, police departments, and state and federal governmental agencies.

Spicer said the wide range of interests represented at Wednesday's career fair also resulted in a good turnout from the campus community. She said that more than 230 students, faculty, and staff attended the fair, and emphasized that seeing the interest from the students always leaves a positive impact on the recruiters. "A lot of campuses can't say they have 25% of their students come to their career fair," she said.

Another factor that Spicer said played an important role in the success of this fair was the improvements which have been made to the campus facilities within the past year. This is the second time the fair has been held in the university's Rogers Conference Center, and Spicer said she couldn't be more pleased with the new space. "Because of the improved space, we're seeing an increase in the number of organizations coming," she said. "We've never had a place with such a good flow, where students could really see everything that was there. I think this conference center is perfect. We were able to fit all tables in there comfortably. And, we have room to grow the fair as the economy continues to improve," she added.

Planning is already underway for the fall 2012 career fair. While Spicer said attendance at this fair was very good, she is hoping to bring in even more students, faculty, and staff in the fall. "We're thinking about some different things we can do next fall to make it easier for people to find time to attend," she said. One of her primary goals for the fall fair will be to encourage faculty members to come and network with the recruiters, because faculty are often the first point of contact for the students when they are looking at graduate schools or career options.

Spicer said that she encourages students to be thinking about the fall career fair, and prepare for it by looking over the list of recruiters when it is finalized, making note of any they're specifically interested in. But she adds that even if they don't see anything directly related to their major, they should try to stop in at the fair for at least a few minutes. "The Career Fair has opportunities for everyone. I tell students if they have extra time, to talk to other groups. You never know when you might have a chance to network," she said. "No matter if the student is a freshman or a senior, an art major, a biology major, or an accounting major - they can come to the career fair and find something that would fit them. I think there are a lot of opportunities there, and that students, faculty and staff should take advantage of that, even if they have only a few minutes."

Spicer said that students who didn't have an opportunity to attend the recent career fair can make an appointment with career services if they have questions about the job search process, or about graduate school. To setup an appointment, call career services at 479-979-1320 or email Spicer at kaspicer@ozarks.edu.

"Spring

More than 230 students, faculty, and staff attended the spring 2012 career fair, held Wednesday, February 29 in the Rogers Conference Center.

So you've done it. You've gotten your degree after four years of hard work. You've made a lot of sacrifices, taken a lot of tests, read a lot of books. What next?

If you’re like most students, you're ready hit the job market running and land that first big job -- which means going to a lot of interviews. But what can you do if you don’t know how to interview well?

Recently 15 Ozarks students had the chance to get in some realistic practice when Career Services hosted its first speed interviewing workshop.

“What we did was invite representatives of local businesses to come in and interview our students as if they were hiring them for a job,” said Career Services Director and Student Support Services Program Coordinator Kimberly Spicer. “We divided everyone into three groups and gave each interview pair ten minutes. When the time was up, I rang the bell and everyone rotated to the next interviewer. That way each student had a chance to experience different styles of interviewing, and practice their own interview skills.”

"Ana

Junior Environmental Studies major Ana Hernandez interviews with Anna Havener of Simmons First Bank during the U of O’s recent speed interviewing workshop. Representatives of local businesses gave 15 students a chance to hone their job interviewing skills during the event.

Representatives were on hand from Hanes, Johnson Regional Medical Center, Community Service, Inc., Regions Bank, Clarksville Medical Group, Clarksville Light & Water, Baldor Electric, Simmons First Bank, Arkansas Valley Electric, First Security Bank, the U of O, Arvest Bank, Clarksville First United Methodist Church, and the Wal-Mart Distribution Center.

Mayra Hoch, a senior accounting and management/administration major and assistant to the director of career services, said she originally suggested the idea during a brainstorming session for events for the spring semester. “I thought we might host events other than the career fair – which is March 17!” she added with a smile.

Spicer said although the event had been in the works for awhile, it all fell into place during during the past month. “Now I’ll take the forms filled out by the interviewers and follow up with the students,” she said. “Once I read through them, I can offer to do further mock interviews with anyone who would like to do one, especially if there were specific areas for improvement noted in the forms.”

Michael Minnear of Wal-Mart Distribution Center said he was glad to respond to the invitation from Career Services. “As human resources office manager I was glad to do it,” he said. “It’s a chance to get out into the community and give back, plus it broadens my own horizons.” Minnear added there were so many good résumés he wished he’d come earlier and had time to look them over more carefully.

Student Ana Hernandez said she enjoyed the experience. “It was very helpful getting to know more about their companies,” she said. “They provided really good feedback to us, which will certainly help us down the road when we’re doing the real thing. I definitely felt I learned something – gaining confidence, getting practice in interviews.”

Beyond the job fair March 17, Career Services will hold two webinars for students, one on professional online networking, and the other featuring Donald Asher, an internationally acclaimed author of ten books and speaker specializing in careers and higher education.   Dates for these events will be announced after the events are finalized.

Clarksville, Ark. --- First impressions are lasting impressions, and when you are interviewing for a job, everything counts.

That is why Career Services has begun a program this semester directed by Career Services Coordinator Kimberly Spicer, a professional clothes closet for students who need help with professional attire for upcoming job interviews. Career Services spent last semester gathering clothing and establishing a database of what is available, in what sizes.

“The idea came when I started seeing students who lacked the appropriate attire for interviews,” says Spicer, “and from talking with students who couldn’t spend $200 or $300 on clothing. We started collecting last year. We appealed to people on campus and got a great response. Then Larry Isch did a great article in Today Magazine and we got all kinds of response from alumni and the community. We haven’t had to publicize it beyond that.”

Participation is simple. Students who need the service simply go to the Student Services Center downstairs in Robson Library and fill out an application giving their clothing sizes. Applicants are also asked to either watch a video on interview preparation or schedule a meeting to discuss their interview skills.

Spicer emphasizes that the clothing items are not loaners, although participants may return them if they wish.

“We have three or four times more women’s clothing than men’s, so we could always use more of those,” she says. “We can’t guarantee we’ll have something that will fit everybody, but we do the best we can!”

To contact the professional clothes closet, call (479) 979-1320.

"The

Kimberly Spicer, Director of Career Placement, shows some of the professional attire available in the Clothes Closet.

Thanks to an ambitious project coordinated by the Career Services Office, many U of O students and recent graduates will be much better dressed when they go on that all-important job search.

The Clothes Closet Project was started this past spring by Career Services Coordinator Kimberly Spicer and several of her work-study students. The project provides donated business attire to students who are near graduation and who are going on job interviews.

Spicer said she noticed a need for such a project while helping prepare students for job searches and interviews.

“I have talked to several students who tell me that they can’t afford to purchase appropriate interview attire,” Spicer said. “Many of the students are first-generation college graduates in their family, and their parents have never worked in a professional position, so they really don’t know how to purchase professional clothing. And, if they did, they couldn’t afford it.”

Spicer said her office typically helps between 5-10 students purchase business attire each spring.

“I’ve noticed a greater need the past couple of years, and there is only so much we can do,” she said. “I believe the need is even greater than what I know about because I think there are students who don’t want to ask for help. With this project up and running, I think students will be more likely to privately express a need and receive clothing from anonymous donors.”

Torie Parsons, a senior marketing major from Dallas, helped Spicer pull the project together. She researched similar projects at other universities and helped Spicer wade through the numerous tax deductible forms that had to be filed.

“I have a love for fashion and for marketing and business, so this project really interested me,” said Parsons. “And, as a student, I saw that the need was there. There are a lot of people out there with like-new professional clothing in their closets that they never wear and a lot of students out there with no professional clothing at all. That’s why this project can be successful.”

As of May, more than 200 pieces of professional clothing had been donated, mostly by university faculty and staff. Spicer plans to begin reaching out to the local community, alumni and even possibly corporate sponsors for donations in the near future.

“Two hundred pieces of clothing may sound like a lot, but it is a little misleading because that includes separates, like jackets and pants, as well as bags, ties and shoes,” she said. “It’s a good start, but we really want to build up a good inventory.”

Spicer said there is still a tremendous need for men’s clothing, especially dress shirts, pants and suits in all sizes. There is also a need for women’s and men’s dark colored shoes, men’s black socks and women’s hosiery. She emphasized that the donated clothing must be clean, “like-new” professional attire. Monetary donations are also accepted.

Some Ozarks students are financially challenged when it comes to purchasing job interview attire. If you or your spouse has new or gently-worn interview-appropriate attire that you would like to donate, please contact Career Services Coordinator Kimberly Spicer at 479-979-1320.

Items Needed Include:
* Men’s suits and sports jackets
* Women’s pant and skirt suits
* Men’s and women’s separates, such as slacks, shirts and blouses
* Ties, jewelry, scarves and accessories
* New dress socks and nylons
* New or like-new dress shoes
* Briefcases, portfolios and professional pens

""

Students (from left) Daniela Bermudez Gardea, Torie Parsons and Mayra Hoch sort and organize donated clothing as part of the Clothes Closet Project.

Interviews available for numerous positions

Ozarks students have the opportunity to meet with representatives of numerous corporate and private employers on Monday, February 26 in Little Rock. Interested students should contact Kimberly Spicer in Ozarks' Office of Career Services by Friday, Februrary 16 in order to put together a resume and sign up for an interview workshop.

Ozarks students examine possibilities for careers and graduate study.

CLARKSVILLE, ARK. (October 11, 2006) -- Options for post-graduation employment or study lined the halls of the student center on the Ozarks campus Wednesday at Ozarks’ annual fall semester career fair. Representatives of employers and graduate schools offered advice as well as information on possibilities with their respective organizations. “If what we have is not in line with (students’) goals, I’ll direct them to another program we have,” said Beth Johnson from the graduate school of business at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla. Students today have more options, Johnson said, pointing out that Oral Roberts offers two types of business degrees, including one offered by distance learning, allowing students to complete the majority of their coursework online, without having to relocate to another university campus. Even in an era of online job applications, career fairs are still a valuable tool for students. “It’s that face-to-face contact,” said Kimberly Spicer of Ozarks’ Career Services Office, which sponsored the career fair. Spicer said many Ozarks students have used the university’s career fairs to land their first job after graduation, with many finding positions near their hometowns or in areas where they wish to relocate. “We’re heavily recruiting for Northwest Arkansas,” said Chantelle Fluker of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which offers graduates a management training program, in locations around Arkansas and neighboring states. “After six months, you’re eligible to get promoted,” said Fluker. “After that, the sky’s the limit!” She said some recruits have gone on to manage an Enterprise branch office, while others have risen through the ranks of general management. Both Fluker and Johnson noted that a student’s undergraduate major would not weigh heavily on the hiring or admissions process at their respective company or school, saying that interest and effort were important qualifications. “We look for students who are mobile and want to move up,” Fluker said. Other companies at the career fair included Arvest Bank, Walt Disney World and the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, as well as military recruiters and graduate schools in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Spicer said Ozarks students will have another opportunity for one-on-one interviews with recruiters in February, when the university sponsors a trip to Little Rock for job interviews with companies in manufacturing, finance and retail trade, as well as government employers.