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Friday, March 28, 2014
by: Tonya Lowentritt
CONNECTING WITH TECHNOLOGY – Joseph Naquin, left, and John Song, both computer science majors from Mandeville, speak with Adriane Allen of Blue Cross Blue Shield about job opportunities with the company. Blue Cross was one of more than 20 area companies that participated in the first annual Tech Connect Career Day held at Southeastern Louisiana University on March 26.
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University hosted its first-ever career fair for technology on Wednesday (March 26), attracting more than 20 area employers looking to fill numerous positions in high-demand tech fields.
A collaborative effort between the Office of Career Services and the Department of Computer Science and Industrial Technology, "Tech-Connect 2014" was an opportunity specifically for the university's computer science, engineering and industrial technology, and occupational, safety, health and environment (OSHE) majors to learn about job availability in their fields of study.
"We held this special career fair because of the very high demand for these graduates in this region," said Computer Science and Industrial Technology Department Head Sebastian van Deldan. "It made sense to offer this new technology-specific recruiting event in order to provide employers interested in recruiting with an opportunity to do so face-to-face in a career fair setting."
And Tiffany Cressionnie, licensing and compliance manager for Smitty's Supply, Inc., could not have been more pleased with the opportunity.
"The Southeastern students that come to us are very qualified, prepared and ready for the workforce. They have had a lot of exposure and experience while in school," she said. "We work closely with the instructors and professors at Southeastern to provide tours of our facility to the students to show them what actually happens day in and day out in our facility – what a real job in their field is like."
According to Director of Career Services Kenneth Ridgedell, Tech-Connect offered two main components for employers deciding to participate – a mini career fair from 9 a.m. to noon and optional, same-day on-campus interviews for employers. The fair had approximately 250 students who partticipated, with at least 30 students being interviewed in the afternoon by potential employers.
"In addition to the regular Southeastern Career Fair held each September, this one allows tech companies an opportunity to interact with our students every six months," he said. "Moving forward, our plan is to continue to offer the annual, university-wide career fair in the fall and this technology-specific career day in the spring."
Southeastern student Joseph Naquin was happy to take advantage of Tech Connect.
"Since I'm a senior, I came to see what jobs are available in my field," said Naquin, a computer science major from Mandeville. "Currently, Blue Cross has 15 jobs available. I would not have known that if it had not been for the fair today."
For more information about Tech Connect or Career Fair, contact Ridgedell at (985) 549-2121, or firstname.lastname@example.org.