UMSL students explore employment opportunities at Spring Career Fair

by | Mar 18, 2024

Nearly 400 UMSL students and alumni took part in the event and had the opportunity to visit with 94 employers across a wide variety of career fields.
Students speak with representative from Boeing

UMSL alum Kevin Hoehne, a supply chain contracting manager at Boeing, speaks with junior marketing major Jack Heiderscheid (center right) and information systems and technology major Kevin Kpankou (front right) about future opportunities at Boeing during the Spring Career Fair. (Photos by Derik Holtmann)

Jack Heiderscheid and Kevin Kpankou hit the lobby of the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center on Friday afternoon prepared to make an impression during the University of Missouri–St. Louis’ Spring Career Fair.

Heiderscheid, a junior majoring in marketing, and Kpankou, a junior majoring in information systems and technology, both donned professional attire, spruced up their resumes and researched local employers ahead of the event. The juniors were both interested in exploring internship opportunities as well as building their professional networks.

“There’s definitely some big names here, but I just wanted to keep an open mind,” Kpankou said. “There might be a company that I’ve never heard of, but they do exactly what I want to do. So just keeping an open mind and seeing where it takes me.”

Student speaks with representative from NGA

Computer science major Kavion Norman talks with Richard Wiley about jobs, internships and scholarship opportunities at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Going into the day, Heiderscheid was intent on speaking with representatives from Boeing but had positive interactions with several other would-be employers that he didn’t expect.

Sherwin Williams, absolutely everything they offered – benefits, internship opportunities – definitely piqued my interest,” he said. “So I’ll definitely take a look at that.”

MiTek Inc., a construction technology firm, stood out to Kpankou.

“They were responsive and said that they had quite a lot of opportunities in my field,” he said.

Nina Nguyen, a junior majoring in marketing, was also looking for internship opportunities to bolster her experience in the field before she graduates. Nguyen was particularly excited to talk to Abstrakt Marketing Group, but like Heiderscheid, found employers in a variety of industries engaging and welcoming.

Students in lobby of Blanch M. Touhill Performing Arts Center

Students had the opportunity to interact with 94 employers in a variety of industries during the event.

“One table actually approached me when I was walking by,” she said. “I mentioned I was a marketing major and they said they had marketing opportunities. I was really excited by that.”

Heiderscheid, Kpankou and Nguyen were just three of the nearly 400 UMSL students and recent graduates who attended the event. Representatives from 94 employers took advantage of the opportunity to connect with attendees face-to-face.

“We were thrilled with the student turnout and received positive feedback from employers, many who indicated they identified and are following up with strong candidates,” UMSL Director of Career Services Teresa Balestreri said.

Balestreri and her team ensured there were plenty of potential employers in a variety of career fields. The list of companies on hand included regional giants – Ameren, BJC HealthCare, Boeing, Enterprise Fleet Management and Spire – as well as federal agencies and firms in fields from biosciences to social services.

Student speaks with representative from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Accelerated BSBA/MBA student Lindsey Jones speaks to UMSL alum Katie Marlow about job opportunities at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

“Hosting a campuswide career fair requires us to think about all academic programs,” Balestreri said. “We take a strategic approach and invite employers that are related to our degree programs. Additionally, we focus on enhancing the scope and number of industries represented. We not only accomplished this but also saw a 10% increase in employer participation over last year’s Spring Career Fair.”

UMSL alum Katie Marlow was in attendance representing the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, where she serves as a supervisory examiner. The institution is one of 12 regional banks in the Federal Reserve System that make up the country’s central bank.

Marlow, who graduated from UMSL in 1995 with a BSBA in accounting, was recruiting for full-time bank examiners, roles that help uphold the financial safety and soundness of banking institutions.

“We look for a lot of accounting, finance, economics degrees,” she said. “Those are the individuals we find really lend themselves well to our current postings just because we do a lot of financial analysis.”

Marlow added that the Federal Reserve hires regularly for a variety of positions.

Students speak with employers.

UMSL students impressed potential employers by being prepared and asking great questions.

“We have a lot of opportunities at the Federal Reserve,” she said. “Obviously, we have economists; we have human resources; we have different departments, different examiner types. There are a lot of opportunities at the Fed.”

The university and its driven, prepared students made a positive impression throughout the day.

“I’ve been to a lot of career fairs,” Marlow said, “and I feel like here especially individuals are coming, looking for that opportunity and asking great questions and really engaging with us, and we’re really enjoying it.

“I just think it’s been very well organized here at UMSL. That has really helped us. With regards to the Federal Reserve, I think it’s something that we would continue to come just because we’ve had such a great experience, and we’d love to be invited back.”

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