Sara Chase recently reset her job search strategy, so she’s not very far along heading toward her graduation from Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) next month. Still, the Marketing Management program student is cautiously optimistic about the outlook.
That’s something she shares with many of the students who attended the Spring Career Fair that took place across four facilities at the CVTC Eau Claire campuses Wednesday.
Chase had been looking for work around her home area of Ashland. “I decided to stay in Eau Claire,” she says. “I just started looking here.”
But she feels she’s positioned herself well for a job search. She’s the director of student activities for the CVTC Student Government Association and has been highly successful in DECA competitions. That kind of extra-curricular involvement usually impresses employers, and Chase is confident there’s something out there for her, if she can find it.
“I’m trying to figure out where to find the jobs. I think I can sell myself, but I keep hearing over and over that it’s all about networking,” she says.
Sam Schlinsog is not cautiously, but wildly optimistic about his chance of finding work in the information technology field. He’s still a year out from graduation, but not worried at all about life after that.
“I’m very confident, especially for information technology programs. I will have no problem finding work in the IT field, even with what I know now,” he says.
In fact, he’s already working in the field, self-employed taking in computer repair work. “There’s no shortage of people who need their computers fixed.”
Schlinsog is confident enough that he’s already looking to specialize, in the web design field.
That kind of optimism stands in contrast to the mood a few years ago, when economic crisis was upon the nation and it seemed no one was hiring.
“It seems like stuff is available to us now. It’s good to know that the employers believe in the education we’re getting,” says Dustin Steinbrecher, a Business Management program student with a year of studies remaining. “There are so many opportunities available; I want to see what’s out there.”
Of course, some fields have greater opportunities than others. Students in the Welding program found they were not looking for jobs so much as they were being recruited at the Career Fair at the CVTC Manufacturing Education Center. That’s how great the demand is for welders.
At the CVTC Emergency Services Education Center, law enforcement students found opportunities in area agencies, though they may have to work their way into what they really want.
“I’d like to be a county patrol officer,” says Ken Bates of Barron, a student at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Rice Lake, who came to CVTC for the Career Fair. “I might have to start off as an officer in a smaller police department, or at a jail.”
Tom Overland is actively looking for law enforcement work and is focused in on where he wants to be. He was speaking with a representative of the River Falls Police Department. Overland is in the reserve program in that department now.
“I’m really hoping they can open up the doors for me,” he says.
The Career Fair drew 32 businesses registering for tables at the CVTC Business Education Center, with another 30 at the Manufacturing Education Center. CVTC hosts career fairs in both the fall and spring.