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Career Expo connects over 500 students and 80 companies 

University of the Pacific’s Career Services connected over 500 students to employment, internship and co-op opportunities during its annual Career Expo on February 22. Eighty companies were represented, including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, PBS KVIE, PepsiCo – Frito Lay and World Relief Sacramento.  

“The overall goal of this year’s Career Expo is to create something where our offices partner with all the different schools on campus to make this one single expo feel conference-style, and reach a broad audience of students and alumni,” Employer Engagement and Internship Specialist Somarly Hernandez said. 

This year’s expo was curated to benefit students at all stages of their professional exploration. Earlier in the week, Pacific’s Career Services offered drop-in hours when students could meet with advisers to tighten up resumes and practice their elevator pitches. Students could also browse the career closet, which features a collection of professional clothing items students can borrow if they need a wardrobe fix ahead of an interview. This came in handy during the Career Expo, as some companies took advantage of available private conference rooms to hold on-the-spot interviews.  

A new feature of the expo, Career Services offered guided tours to any students wanting assistance navigating the floor and connecting with employers relevant to their work experience. 

“As a first-year student, it might be a little bit daunting to talk with professionals because you don’t have that working experience yet, so this is something we want to offer during this large-scale career fair especially,” Somarly said. “We want them to know it is not scary, that this can be fun, and it is beneficial to connect with lots of employers, even those you may not want to work with yet.” 

Second-year bioengineering student Maria Jose Majo Segovia attended the expo in search of internship opportunities. “I think [the expo] is important for students because it gives us the chance to explore different career options,” Maria said. “For me, personally, it was also really helpful as a practice for talking to employers. I got to talk to three companies who were looking for bioengineering students: Hazen & Sawyer, Inkspace Imaging and Foster Farms.” 

The expo also served as an opportunity for students to connect with Pacific alumni. “A lot of our employer partners have alumni on staff, and those alumni will come and represent the company, so they will connect with students on that common ground.” Somarly said. 

Students who want to stand out to employers they met should follow up with a thank-you email and connect on LinkedIn, Somarly recommended. “We really want students to network at the expo. Build that network and then maintain it by following up.” Somarly said.  

Students who could not attend this year’s expo can still access Career Services’ valuable resources and support throughout the year. Career Services offers several college-specific job fairs each year in addition to the general expo, and students are welcome at any time to make an appointment with an adviser to prepare their resumes and portfolios, sharpen their interviewing skills with mock interviews or discuss career options. 

“Our staff is here throughout a student’s four-year undergraduate journey to support,” Somarly said. “And alumni can contact us at any point via email or phone call.”  

Somarly noted that all students and alumni are invited to download the Handshake app where they can connect with one another, view job opportunities, and network with employers.  

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