Although she still has yet to graduate from Stanislaus State, junior Emily Lamas has big dreams to one day work alongside the likes of Adrian Gonzalez and the rest of the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of their media relations team.
“I bleed blue,” laughed Lamas. “It seems like a far shot, but we’ll get there.”
As a human communications major at the university, Lamas was one of over 200 students and California State University alumni that attended Stanislaus State’s annual Career Fair on Wednesday, which boasted 50 recruiting representatives from local and regional employers.
“I’ve never been to one and wanted to see what it is,” said Lamas. “I do want to venture out and maybe start with an internship.”
“We’re going to have to find jobs eventually so we need to start somewhere and this is somewhere to start,” added her friend Cristina Banda.
Banda, a child development major, expressed an interest in teaching and spoke briefly to Denair Unified School District Superintendent Aaron Rosander, who was in attendance on Wednesday. She said that while she is not tied to a particular school district, she would like to teach younger children, particularly those in kindergarten.
Each year, Stanislaus State hosts the Career Fair where students and CSU alumni can receive information directly from employers regarding full-time, professional-level positions with their organizations, as well as internships and summer employment.
“I think this is a crucial piece of the quality educational experience we want to offer our students,” said Academic Success Center Director Amye Leon. “We want to support them as they progress through their education and prepare to embark on their careers. This event is one more way we hope to contribute to their success.”
Leon said that the goal of Wednesday’s event was to provide students with the opportunity to interact with local and regional employers so they can learn more about the fields and careers they are interested in, as well as to provide employers with the opportunity to come on campus and meet with the talented student population.
“We are confident they will find highly qualified candidates for their internships and open positions,” said Leon.
Leon said that employers at the Career Fair Wednesday ranged from Foster Farms to Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department to Stockton State Hospitals. As the Recruitment and Community Engagement Specialist for Aspiranet, Maira Lora said that she attended the Career Fair on behalf of the nonprofit to recruit graduates for openings that require a degree, such as counselor or social worker positions.
“We’re actually the third largest nonprofit in adoption and foster care in the state of California. We have about 46 locations ranging from Sacramento to Long Beach,” said Lora. “So being that we are so large here in the Valley, we always try to make it out to all the colleges and universities in hopes of recruiting some great people.”
Members of the Turlock Police Department were also in attendance Wednesday to speak to students and alumni regarding police officer trainee positions, which would provide them with salary, benefits and paid training at the Ray Simon Academy in Ceres. After graduation, they would be sworn in as a full-time police officer.
“We are tasked to go out and do recruitment, not just in the schools, but also in other police academics as well,” said field training officer Ed Meraz. “This proved to be an excellent opportunity for us to reach out to the locals who are very familiar with the community.”
Meraz said that he took time with students on Wednesday to go over what the police force has to offer in comparison to other agencies, as well as benefits and other incentives. He said that he also shared his own personal experience with students since he made the decision to join to the Turlock Police Department in 2008.
“I transferred from another agency to work for the City of Turlock because the quality of life here and overall the professionalism is above standards,” said Meraz. “Because I left another agency to come here I know firsthand what the differences are opposed to other agencies.”
One student that Meraz spoke to about the possibility of joining the Turlock Police Department was senior Astrid Itzep, who voiced an interest in becoming a police officer.
“It’s something that I’ve been looking into since I came to college, so it’s something that I want to do in this county or another county,” said Itzep, who is a psychology major.
Itzep said that if her dream of becoming a police officer doesn’t come to fruition, she still has other options, including finding another position within a police department. She added that she also has an interest in pursuing careers that allow her to work with children in the foster care system or with the homeless population.
“I think it’s a pretty great experience getting to meet all the employers especially since some of them are excited to meet you and get to know you,” said Itzep. “I met with quite a few and they’re pretty informative and helpful even if you’re not ready for that job they’re still willing to help you out and give you their email.
“Since it’s my last year, I’m looking forward to meeting employers, getting out there and seeing what opportunities there are,” added Itzep.