BC job center prepares for Career Day

Elizabeth Fernandez, Reporter

Every year Bakersfield College’s job placement department organizes Career Day for students to attend and meet potential employers.

“The purpose is to bring employers to campus, so that students and alumni can meet with employers and learn about their current openings and career information,” said Denise Crawford, chair of the job placement center.

Career Day will be taking place on April 30, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will be easily visible to students in the campus center area.

The center has worked hard to reach employers and prepare job seekers alike. Although, in recent years, during the lower economy, when up to 50 employers have showed up, they failed to have a good amount of jobs to offer. Student and attendee feedback reflected disappointment, according to Crawford.

However, nearly 70 companies have already signed up for this year’s event. Crawford projected that they may peak over 100 – a number they haven’t seen in years, and adds that it may be due to the economy’s recent improvement.

“We’ve always had a Career Day, but sometimes employers come and they have very few jobs. We [were] seeing more and more employers not really hiring. So I think that’s the difference that we have seen in the last few years.  I think that’s good news,” said Crawford.

Because of the volume of invited and interested employers, a wide variety of companies will be expected. “This time we have everything from Bolthouse Farms to Panda Express – they hire a lot of people. The county, the county personal, the county mental health, the county probation, all of those county departments are hiring. Frito Lay, businesses like that that hire a lot of people – a lot of skilled labor position,” she said. “There are also some temporary agencies that do staffing for other companies that will be here. So those are good temporary positions for students as well.”

Although the event is geared toward BC students and alumni, it is open to the public. Employers will seek part-time college students and soon-to-be-graduates ready for their permanent positions.

For those students who are still undeclared, career day may introduce them to career oriented employment. “A lot of students don’t know what they want to major in. They’re not quite sure of what they want to be,” said Crawford.  “This is a great opportunity for them to go around and talk to a lot of employers and find out about what’s out there.”

Crawford and Rudy Gutierrez, a job development specialist, work with students beforehand in efforts to prepare them. Students can practice mock interviews, review their resume, and attend a workshop the job placement center will be offering before Career Day. They’re concerned when they see students walking up to booths and just picking up the free items.

They strongly want to encourage students to build a connection with the person from the company. This day and age requires that students not only visit booths, but also build a connection with the host. Crawford stated that today 95/100 jobs are obtained through networking.

“Not many jobs are obtained through going online and just downloading the application. You have to actually talk to people. Career Day offers that opportunity for students to be able to meet employers,” she added.

Gutierrez also suggested that students think about dressing up properly for Career Day. “When they meet the employer that will be something that the employer looks at. The first impression is probably the best impression,” he said.  It is also a part of the feedback the center has received from employers in recent years.

As an example, the pair talked about a BC student who was hired by the Boys and Girls Club. The organization had been having some trouble finding someone to fill their activities director position. “They presented themselves positively and just made a great impression,” explained Crawford.

Job Placement is also working on a video to encourage students to participate on Career Day. There is no set date for when they will be posting the video to their website, which can be accessed through InsideBC. Crawford stated they are adding final touches but should be finished soon.

“The employers come here [for] Bakersfield College students and alumni. They like our career day,” said Crawford. “They go to other job fairs, but they always say when they come here people are more educated, they’re more ready to go. So they like to be connected with Bakersfield College.”