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Hundreds attend GRU career expo

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Twins Heather and April Ham­mack arrived together Friday at Georgia Regents Univer­sity’s Employer Expo Career Fair, but the two are traveling very different career paths.

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Karen Kearns of ADP (left) talks with Niesha Patterson of Augusta about the many full and part-time job opportunites at the Georgia Regents University Employer Expo Career Fair held at Christenberry Fieldhouse.  MIKE ADAMS/SPECIAL
MIKE ADAMS/SPECIAL
Karen Kearns of ADP (left) talks with Niesha Patterson of Augusta about the many full and part-time job opportunites at the Georgia Regents University Employer Expo Career Fair held at Christenberry Fieldhouse.

Heather Hammack is looking for something to accentuate her marketing degree she’ll earn after graduating from GRU in May. Her sister will graduate with a biology degree and would love to find any job in a lab, especially one involving forensics.

“As a whole, it’s rough out there,” Heather Hammack said of the employment picture. “If you’re in any sort of business-related field or at least in marketing, I’ve come to find out it’s all about who you know. It’s really hard to find a job out there if you don’t know people, if you’re not networking in the community and don’t have people essentially giving you leads.”

April Hammack said establishing future work connections in the science field is harder to do. Both women have internships under their belts and feel that will help them.

“It still may take some time,” Heather Hammack said. “I don’t necessarily expect to have a job the day I graduate, but within six months or so after, I do think I’ll probably be able to secure something.”

The twins came to the event at Christenberry Field­house dressed in business attire, armed with résumés and confidence.

The job fair was open to GRU students, alumni and other job seekers in the community. With just an hour left to go, nearly 350 people had entered to learn about career opportunities, said the university’s career services director, Julie Goley.

“Especially with our students now, they often wonder what’s the purpose of a job fair, so we have to do a lot of eduction to them,” Goley said. “This generation is very accustomed to an online-
driven market of how you apply. This is kind of an old-school way to help put faces, names with companies that you in a job search would not get.”

More than 50 booths surrounding the upper level of the arena represented the health care, retail, service and manufacturing sectors of the local economy. GRU
also had a presence at the expo, with several colleges providing program information.

Representatives from Augusta-based E-Z-Go collected dozens of résumés from potential employees vying for one of three leadership positions to support the Mar­vin Griffin Road plant or a “surplus” of other jobs open.

Val Wyatt, an E-Z-Go human resources representative, said it relies on job fairs for entry-level hires.

“A lot of our positions require degrees, so we’re looking for educated students that possess a degree or are working towards that,” she said. “We’re able to get that engagement piece, and we’re able to interact with students.”

On the health care side of the job spectrum, University Health Care System recruiter Alison Brown informed people stopping by her station that the hospital had more than just medical positions available. There were more than 230 open jobs, some not requiring a college degree, she said.

Though many were in search of employment, some attendees meandered among booths to better grasp what educational opportunities awaited them after graduation.

Brandon Rose, a history and political science major at GRU, said he came to gain information on the university’s master’s programs in public and business administration. He’s
considering graduate or law school after graduating next May.

“You can never start too early,” he said. “I think it’s a benefit to always pursue your different opportunities that are available, whenever they open up.”

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