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Growing career fair brings job opportunities to students

Riverside, Calif. (Feb. 24, 2016) – Students packed the gym at California Baptist University's Recreation Center as businesses and government agencies in Southern California presented various internship and job opportunities at the Business, Engineering and Communication Studies Career Fair on Feb 24.  In a span of three years, the fair has become the largest career fair on campus, growing from about 15 businesses that participated to more than 110 this year.                                         

A couple of years ago the Career Center decided to bring the event to a different level, said Mike Bishop, senior director of the Career Center. CBU staff became focused on networking with local employers and government agencies.

"We've been deliberate and focused about networking within the community because a lot of these employers are very interested in CBU, not only because of the educational piece, but they also recognize that our students have strong character and integrity, and that's appealing to employers," said Bishop.

All the employers in attendance offered internships, part-time jobs or full-time jobs, Bishop said.

Addison King ('15) could be a walking advertisement for the career fair.

He attended the event last year and got a summer accounting internship with ESRI, a mapping software company in Redlands. His role transitioned into a part-time job in the fall, and when he graduated from CBU in December, he started working at ESRI full time as an accountant.

King, who was one of ESRI's representatives at the fair, said he used these events to practice and rehearse potential interview questions,  

The Naval Surface Warfare Center, an independent assessment agency for the U.S. Navy, was offering internships and full-time jobs in engineering.

"We can get face-to-face with the students," Eric Villanueva, branch head of engagement systems at the agency, said about the event. "It shows good support for the community. We want to employ our local engineers because we might as well pick from our own backyard."

The career fair continues to add to the positive reputation that CBU has in the community, Bishop said.

"The school already has a lot of great visibility, but in the community, the more employers that are exposed to our students, the more attractive we become because the employers really do see we have a good quality of students," he said.