The annual job fair was held May 3 in the Bellevue College cafeteria, organized by the Center for Career Connections. Representatives from 52 organizations including Comcast, UW Medicine, BECU, Tableau, AT&T, Starbucks, Symetra Financial, Wells Fargo, Sprint and UPS were present at the event. The fair gave Bellevue College students the opportunity to network with recruiters.
“I am the one who invites the companies to come. For months I will be following up, inviting them, trying to visit them, go to meet with them in person. I will showcase Bellevue College and show what advantages we have. A lot of companies do not know that we are now a four-year institution, something that I am trying to advocate for. For example […] this will be the first time Tableau will come, because they didn’t know that we are doing graduate programs. This is really, very exciting,” said associate director of corporate outreach Fabienne Mouton.
Mouton invited different types of companies in order to represent the diverse fields of study at Bellevue College. “I am trying to invite companies that represent most of the programs at Bellevue College. A lot of companies I actually had to refuse. If I wanted, I could have had a retail fair because I had a lot of retail companies who wanted to come, so I had to be very careful about how I was selecting companies. I was trying to have variety with business, marketing. I wanted there to be something for everybody. Internships, part time jobs, seasonal jobs. Sometimes the most important thing to do is network with these companies. And they might not have an internship right now, but maybe they will later,” added Mouton.
Bellevue College students can also go to the BC CONNECT website, which is a year-round jobs board run by the BC Center for Career Connections. “Students can find internships at any time during the year. The connect website is the first place to go. Alumni can use it, community members can use it, you can come to the career center and we will help students with searches and help them get things set up,” said Christina Sciabarra, associate director of the Career Center.
Representatives at the fair provided students with information about positions available and desired qualifications. Most of the companies present hire Bellevue College students every year. “We just followed back up with a Bellevue College student who was interested in applying last time we were here, and we hired them. We usually hire ten to fifteen Bellevue College students in a year. One thing we take pride on is developing our employees. So if you come in at an entry level position, the opportunities are endless,” said Lindsay Thompson, a representative from US Bank.
Mobility within entry level jobs students was a common theme that representatives shared. “The vice president of the company started as a cashier. The Home Depot is big about building within the company. It is really whatever you want it to be and whatever you let it be. You can start as a cashier and work your way up to a supervisor, an assistant manager, a store manager at the regional level, it is definitely a company that prides itself in building within the company,” said Michelle Barth, representative from Home Depot.
Most companies, including the construction supply company Fastenal, had a variety of positions available to students. “Generally what Fastenal does is we sell to manufacturers and contractors in the area. We are not a hardware store per se, but where you see skyscrapers being constructed, or you see products being manufactured, our supplies are going into those facilities. So we need sales people. We need people who manage large accounts, and all the distribution support. Lots of business related tasks,” said Trevor German, a representative from Fastenal.