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by Marcie Kagawa, staff writer

The HPU Career Services Center Business and Technology Career Fair brought students and alumni together with business and technology professionals representing about 30 companies and government agencies. The Feb. 27 event, held in the lobby of the 1132 Bishop building on the downtown campus, was all about sharing career and employment information.
Allan Agustin, an HPU senior majoring in computer information systems, he is worried about having to find a job after he graduates. “I don’t have much work experience,” Agustin said, “but I’m trying to find employment or an internship. I want to stay in Hawai‘i, but know I may have to go to the mainland to find work. This career fair has been good so far.”
Student workers familiar with past semester’s career fairs said there were fewer presenters at this one, and fewer students and alumni in attendance—only about 80 to 100 of them. Marivic Dar, a financial planner with Prudential Financial, said he was surprised at the lack of students and alumni, especially because, he said, “getting a job in this economy will be difficult.
Daena Lee, a contracts manager for Ventura Technology, a company that offers information technology services mainly to the Department of Defense, said she was surprised by the number of international students coming to her booth. “I’m glad so many international students are pursuing their educations here, but we [Ventura Technology] can’t hire them because we need people who can get security clearance.”
Im In Ieong, a senior from Macau double majoring in travel industry management and marketing, and Annie Chao, a senior majoring in travel industry management from Taiwan, both want to stay in Hawai‘i after they graduate. Ieong learned about companies who not only accept but even want employees from different countries.
“ I found out about some companies and positions,” Ieong said. “I also know who I can contact and how to apply.” She added that she is considering applying to PacRim Marketing Group, Inc., an international marketing company, because it fits in well with both her majors.
Chao had a little more trouble because the one company she specifically went to see was unable to attend the fair. “But I did talk to five or six companies who are hiring. I am interested in a few of them,” she added.
Pipeline e-mails advertising the career fair were sent to students, complete with information on how to prepare. Agustin, Ieong, and Chao were all dressed appropriately in business attire, had researched a few companies beforehand, and had prepared résumés to give to prospective employers. But Dar noted that “Some students don’t seem very prepared. They are coming in like students, in shorts and slippers.”
Dar explained what students had already been told by CSC e-mails: When you’re looking for a job, professionalism is the key, especially in a down economy when employers have their pick of the very best.

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