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Career Expo 2014

Alumnae/i return to campus to help current students

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November 14, 2014

By Ashli Gerdes

Tim Janssen has been on both sides of the table at the annual College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University Career Expo.

"I was standing on the other side of the table not long ago. The fair helped land me a job," said Janssen, a 2010 SJU alumnus who is program director at Hammer Residences Inc. and has attended the Career Expo every year since graduation.

He wasn't alone. More than 150 CSB and SJU graduates were present at the 2014 expo to represent a total of 86 area businesses ranging from corporations like 3M and Target to nonprofits like Benedictine Volunteer Corps and Minnesota Reading Corps, which was held Nov. 12 at the Gorecki Center.

In addition to the alumnae/i, almost 600 current students (243 seniors, 108 juniors, 156 sophomores and 76 first year students) attended. Career Services hosts the annual event as a way for students to network and learn about the variety of opportunities available to them.

Each booth at the career fair is required to have at least one Johnnie or Bennie graduate present. Mary Harlander-Locke, Career Services assistant director, said there was a great turnout at this year's event.

"We try to build the whole idea of community and giving back," said Harlander-Locke. "Our recent graduates might not have a lot of money so they give their time as a way to give back."

Bridget Deutz, a 2013 CSB graduate and an inbound marketing professional at Leighton Interactive, spoke during a morning seminar focused on advertising and marketing.

"I was able to take advantage of things like this as a student," Deutz said. "I want to be that connection for someone in school now."

Deutz said her best advice for a graduating senior looking to land a job is to "Show that you want it. Be prepared, be excited and be yourself. Show that you want the job and that you're willing to work hard."

Anna Carlson is a CSB senior studying psychology and global business. She said she was interested in seeing the diverse opportunities the career fair had to offer.

"I just like looking at all of the careers open to me from the nonprofits to the corporations," Carlson said. "I researched the companies ahead of time that stood out to me."

In addition to the career fair, there were 14 seminars featuring a panel discussion led by CSB and SJU graduates in the advertising, marketing, public relations, international business and sports and fitness fields. Students had the opportunity to hear stories from professionals and ask questions.