South Texas students will have an opportunity to submit their résumés to some of the top corporations and organizations in the United States when the fifth annual College Students Career Expo opens its doors Friday, Sept. 28 during the Hispanic Engineering, Science & Technology (HESTEC) Week at The University of Texas-Pan American.
The expo, which will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the University Fieldhouse and HPE II Building, will host more than 85 companies, government agencies and educational and other organizations. Organizers also expect 2,000 students to participate from not only UTPA but from other higher education institutions as far away as Laredo.
"The Career Expo is open to any university student or alumni from the South Texas area interested in expanding the employment opportunities available to them," said Velinda Reyes, UTPA director of Career Services.
Reyes said the event focuses on informing students about job opportunities and internships available in all areas but with a particular focus on those in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields as well as business.
One example of many Career Expo success stories, Reyes said, is UTPA magna cum laude graduate Ricardo Rivera, who obtained his Bachelor in Business Administration with a major in accounting in May 2005.
As a student, Rivera worked full time at on-campus jobs while also taking advantage of supportive UTPA programs such as the College Assistance Migrant Program and internship opportunities with the national Farm Credit Administration in Washington, D.C. and a local CPA firm, where he performed auditing and consultation services for two years, including after he graduated. But Rivera said he was looking for a career change when he visited the U.S. Navy recruiting booth at last year's Career Expo.
"The Navy offered a change with some added adventure. Because of my degree in business, I was advised that I could apply for Officer Candidate School (OCS) and become a United States Naval Officer," Rivera said.
Following his graduation from OSC in May 2007, Rivera began training this month to serve as a Naval Supply Officer with responsibilities of managing and maintaining the distribution of Navy inventory, supplies and equipment. He credits his education and contacts made at UTPA for his success.
"UT Pan American provided the resources and opportunities for my professional growth," he said.
Reyes said job seekers who attend the Career Expo, can expect to meet with recruiters and obtain literature and information about employment within the many companies represented including Chevron, Boeing Company, General Mills, NASA, Shell Oil Company, Toyota, Ford Motor company, Aflac and Kraft Foods to name a few.
In a June 2007 article in Hispanic Business magazine, Rod Christmon, Kraft Foods associate director of North American Diversity, said his company had a robust Hispanic recruiting strategy focusing on key schools and conferences and referred to seeking employee candidates at HESTEC.
In the article, Christmon said Kraft's goal is "to make sure that our work force looks like our marketplace." Reyes advised that students should research the companies they are interested in. A list of many of the attending organizations is available at http://ea.panam.edu/careerplacement/careerday_students.html. She also said that job seekers should dress professionally, ask questions of company representatives manning the recruiter booths and to bring an updated résumé as well as have one in an electronic format on a USB drive.
For more information, students and alumni may contact the Office of Career Services at 956/381-2243. For more information on HESTEC, go to www.hestec.org.