The Central Intelligence Agency was one of 60 companies invited to Cal State Fullerton’s Government and Nonprofit Career Expo Thursday to showcase a variety of potential careers for CSUF students. The CIA was not available for comment.
“It’s a chance for them to get exposed to the industries that they want to work in post-graduation. So it’s kind of Cal State Fullerton’s way of preparing them for the workforce,” said graduate student Maisune Elhaija, a part-time counselor intern at the Career Center.
Fifteen police departments and several recruiters for local city governments, including Irvine and Los Angeles, attended as well.
Nonprofit companies included Peace Corps, the Anaheim Family YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club of Garden Grove. Two hundred and fifty-nine students registered for the event located in the Titan Student Union Pavilions.
“You get to network with different people and find out what it is you want to do,” said Justine Zevallos, who checked in students at the expo.
David Nguyen, a junior computer engineering major, came with a friend to the expo in search of a career change. He said he has been involved with Key Club for years and raised funds for the 2011 Japan earthquake relief.
“Nonprofits have been my thing since high school,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen also spoke with the Orange County Fire Authority at the expo.
“I didn’t think they would reach out to me but they said they needed some IT guys,” Nguyen said. “It looks like there’s something for everyone here.”
Firefighter and recruiter for OCFA Gabriel Flores spoke with students about the different careers the fire authority offers.
“Most of the public sees the big red firetruck driving down the street, and they think that firefighting is the only position that we have,” Flores said. “We have more positions behind (the) scenes.”
Along with making job and internship connections, students at the career fair also learned directly from potential employers about what they wanted in a recruit.
“We’re looking for students who are motivated and driven (who) also want to impact the community that they live in,” said CSUF alumnus and recruiter from Habitat for Humanity Colby Conder.
Conder graduated from CSUF in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He didn’t attend a career fair during his time at the university or after graduation, so he experienced the difficulties of job searching on the internet firsthand.
One benefit of a career fair is that students can interact in person with a potential employer, Conder said.
“You get a sense of the people that work there, to see if you’re really going to mesh well with the other individuals working,” Conder said.
Senior communications major Megan Ayala said she came to the career expo to widen her job possibilities.
“It opens up a lot of opportunities for students,” Ayala said. “It broadens people’s world views that these are other options for you, rather than just go for the job everyone else is going to go for.”