Career Expo Coming to Central Florida

March 12, 2009

Career Expo Coming to Central Florida Saint Leo students preparing to enter the job market this spring can find valuable assistance through the office of Career Services, located in deChantal Hall, on the main campus.

The staff offers students help finding internships, preparing resumes, practicing for job interviews, and connecting with prospective employers.

An important opportunity open to both students and alumni is coming up Friday, April 3, at the Colleges of Central Florida Career Consortium Regional Job Fair in Tampa. Saint Leo and other universities host this event annually to match their graduates with private employers, government offices and non-profit agencies from all sectors. The job fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Tampa Downtown Hyatt Regency, and Saint Leo will provide students with transportation from the main campus to the fair. Students are required to sign up in advance at Career Services.

With the contraction of the job market nationally and in Florida, fewer employers are participating in the fair this year than did in 2008, notes Kim Edwards, associate director of career services. Still, Edwards adds, several leading employer organizations are returning to meet with job candidates, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, various law enforcement agencies and social services providers.

Job candidates are expected to come in professional attire and be prepared with resumes to distribute. Edwards recommends that students come to the Career Services office in the weeks before the job fair to practice and polish their presentation skills.

Juniors and underclassmen also should be visiting the office of Career Services for guidance on finding internships that will set them apart from their peers when they graduate, says Benet Bondi, assistant director for internships. Internships can help students in all fields, and can be found in work settings within a few miles of campus, or as far away as Washington, D.C.

For instance, Bondi and a representative from The Washington Center, an institution that places students in competitive, semester-long internships at private companies and government agencies in the District of Columbia, recently visited with Saint Leo students in variety of majors. Danielle Mahan, the coordinator visiting from The Washington Center (www.twc.edu), explained that students can earn Saint Leo academic credits directly through the program, and pay the same tuition and housing costs as their on-campus peers.

Students should even consider completing more than one internship during the course of their college years, Bondi says, as the job market may remain tight for some years. For more information, contact Kim Edwards at kim.edwards@saintleo.edu or benet.bondi@saintleo.edu.