Students, alumni attend career fair


Livingston-Tangipahoa editor

HAMMOND — Derek May, of Denham Springs, left Southeastern Louisiana University’s Career Fair 2011 on Sept. 21 smiling.

“I found a few employers that were very promising,” May said upon leaving the career fair.

The senior, who is majoring in general studies with a concentration on social work, said he also learned what employers are seeking from prospective employees and how those employers can help him.

May, who has visited other career fairs in hopes of finding a job when he graduates in December, said the career fair was valuable for anyone who is looking for a job.

Southeastern Louisiana University students and alumni were invited to participate in Career Fair 2011, the Office of Career Services’ annual university wide career event.

Held as a benefit exclusively for SLU students and alumni, Career Fair 2011 included more than 100 organizational participants at the Pennington Student Activity Center.

Representatives from various companies and hospitality, government, business, engineering, finance and banking industries were onsite to answer questions and take resumes.

“Career Fair provides Southeastern students and graduates the opportunity to obtain that much-needed face time with recruiters to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack and all of those faceless resumes that come their way,” said Ken Ridgedell, director of Career Services.

“There is no other venue that will allow you to directly interact with recruiters and managers from over 100 employers and leave a lasting, positive impression — all in one day.

“In fact, it would take you months, possibly even years, to speak with as many recruiters as you can in just one day at Southeastern’s Career Fair 2011,” Ridgedell said.

To get the most out of the fair, Ridgedell suggested students and alumni bring copies of their résumés, be prepared to briefly discuss career interests, goals, knowledge and skills, and collect brochures and business cards.

David Conzelman, a special agent with the IRS, said he was impressed with those who attended the fair.

“We get a lot of accounting and business majors,” Conzelman said. “They were well-prepared with resumes. We’re impressed.”

Conzelman, who has worked as a special agent for more than 10 years, actually learned of the position at an SLU career fair years ago. His goal now is to “show accounting students that only know the basic accounting tracks in life that there are other things they can do with an accounting degree.”

Ann’ Lee Earles, of Ponchatoula, talked with Conzelman to learn more about the special agent position. A senior majoring in marketing, Earles said that she was looking for a job but that she hopes to pursue a master’s degree.

She came to the fair after her grandfather and mother convinced her it would be a good opportunity.

For Earles, the fair provided her with a chance to shake hands and talk to people.

Kelly Elliot, a 2000 SLU graduate from Mandeville, said she is changing her career from education to marketing. She attended the career fair to see what employers were offering.

“They’re offering a lot; I’m impressed,” Elliot said.

“They seem to have a lot of good leads, and several interesting positions open,” she said. “It’s encouraging.”

Those who weren’t able to attend the fair can log on to or contact Career Services at (985) 549 2121 or for more information on how to prepare for future career opportunities.