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Career mentality

If you’re a senior at Colorado State University-Pueblo, a career fair is a good place to start thinking about your career and life after college. Or, so you would hope.

On March 4, students can visit with 83 employers at the university’s spring career fair. Bring your resume, and dress up… because you may just land a J O B.

Here are just a few you can leave your resume with: American Family Insurance – they’re looking for customer service representatives — to answer phones. Chik Fil-A – they’re looking for “team members.” My pleasure? Convergy’s – promising. Midas, Panda Express, Target and Wal-Mart will also be there.

Students spend four years and upward of $20,000 for higher education at CSU-Pueblo, and they’re to feel good about leaving resumes with the regional manager for Wal-Mart – a place where so many of my friends worked in high school?

Compare that to CSU-Fort Collins’ career fair that took place last month.

Here was some of the line-up at their career fair: Apple – you have my attention. DH2i, they make “Windows Server software that uses logical containers to decouple enterprise applications from their host operating system and IT infrastructure.” Innovation? Great. J.D. Heiskell Holdings, which is among the top privately held trading companies in the country and is the country’s fourth largest feed manufacturing company. CSU students met with lots of tech companies and leaders in agriculture.

I understand CSU-Pueblo wanting to give students lots of options, but the drive-thru shouldn’t be one of them.

It looks like the major difference in the line-ups is that CSU-Pueblo looked for employers in Pueblo (excluding the armed forces), and ended up scraping from the bottom of the barrel. CSU-Fort Collins, on the other hand, welcomed employers that were fitting to its students even if those employers weren’t local.

I don’t think it is CSU-Pueblo is trying to keep its students locked in a McJob just so they keep contributing to our economy, but it seems a little insulting that our college graduates are being offered a Chik Fil-A application when CSU-Fort Collins students are being offered employers at industry leading companies.

I understand CSU-Pueblo wanting to give students lots of options, but the drive-thru shouldn’t be one of them.

Nowhere on Fort Collins’ list was a fast food joint or retail job. Probably because they don’t consider Panda Express a career either. They met students with employers that offer salaries, not minimum-wage cashier work.

t seems a little insulting that our college graduates are being offered a Chik Fil-A application when CSU-Fort Collins students are being offered employers at industry leading companies.

Of course, there were others on CSU-Pueblo’s list of 83. The City of Pueblo, Kaiser Permanente, Fidelity Investments and other financial planners, school districts, Parkview Medical Center. It wasn’t all bad. Those are good jobs. Government and healthcare will always have a good batch of employers for graduates.

But for the most part it was surprising how many employers didn’t offer ‘careers’, but work that doesn’t even require any type of degree.

There isn’t a single soul on the Belmont campus who wants to take orders after finishing 120 credit hours for a specific line of work.

Sociology is CSU-Pueblo’s most popular major. The career fair offered that major six employers.

The Hasan School of Business (which doesn’t even offer a hospitality major), nursing and education program are also major players at CSU-Pueblo. Naturally, there’s more employers for those majors: Banks, hospitals, school districts.

But the list left me thinking What is CSU-Pueblo preparing students for? What do they think they’re preparing students for? And are those answers the same?

What do you think?

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Written by Kara Mason

Kara Mason is PULP's news editor. She is also the Society of Professional Journalists Colorado Pro Chapter president. Kara freelances for other regional publications, covering government, politics and the environment.

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