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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Career Fair: Response to the Editor

We were disappointed to read the April 22 editorial about the spring 2004 career fair held in the new Campus Center at UMass Boston. We don’t believe it accurately portrayed the advantages offered by our career fairs. Career Services hosts a number of companies throughout the year. Our annual spring fair is the largest event and reflects a number of existing opportunities in the New England area while offering some national and international jobs through global competitors. The Editorial page of the Mass Media would lead you to believe that there were only “blue collar,” low-paying opportunities offered at our career fair for the past two years.

In fact, 48 companies participated this year, representing several sectors of the workforce including, but not limited to education, human services, healthcare, government, technology, marketing/sales, and financial services with salaries ranging from $25,000 – $58,000.

We (Career Services) would like to set the record straight and take this opportunity to inform the Mass Media and their readers. The editorial would lead you to believe that Staples, one of Greater Boston’s top global corporations, was here to recruit for counter help when in fact, they had several positions in finance, management, and information technology. Each company that comes to this event has a link on our website [www.careers.umb.edu]. We recommend that clients view the company’s website which lists the available positions prior to attending a career fair. For example, a computer science major may have walked by the Children’s Hospital Boston table not realizing that there were database-programming positions available, had they not researched available positions in advance.

At the same time, it is important for students to recognize that career fairs don’t create jobs; they are a reflection of the jobs that are available in various industries. We are in a challenging time regarding the economy. A segment of job seekers and recent graduates are confused and frustrated about the economy and the lack of opportunities offered in today’s job market. It has become increasingly difficult for colleges and universities to attract employers to recruit on-campus through career fairs. Our studies show that there has been a steady decline in the number of employers at career fairs nationwide. The challenge for Career Services is to find those opportunities and have them represented on campus. We have been successful in having a significant number of companies in attendance.

We have “tips for success” listed on our webpage in an effort to help the job seeker prepare and have a plan of action. It is our hope that your readers take advantage of all the resources offered by Career Services. Informed evaluation and decision-making are keys to career success. Career Services remains committed to helping students and alumni achieve their academic and professional goals.

Michael Gaskins, Career Counselor/Career Fair Coordinator