Mississippi College

Mississippi College Hosts Career Day 2009

February 24, 2009

More than 600 Mississippi College students networked with recruiters from the FBI, banks, insurance firms, school districts and dozens of other companies at MC's Career Day.

"We had a great turnout of students and employers," said Hayley Taff, the assistant director of the MC Office of Career Services as students poured into Anderson Hall Tuesday.

Despite America's economic crisis, the 2009 Career Day at the Christian university attracted nearly 70 employers at the four-hour event. The floor space in Anderson Hall above the MC cafeteria was jammed soon after the doors opened at 11 a.m.

"We are recession resistant," said Trey Usry, who oversees internship programs at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. "We are looking for the best and brightest."

At booths from the Clinton public schools to Regions bank to accounting firms, students and MC alums hooked up with employers to get a quick overview of the job scene and a briefing on their organizations.

The nation's economic meltdown since early September is forcing many students to look at career choices much earlier, Taff said.

Down the hall, Karen Lindsey-Lloyd, the director of Career Services, kept busy leading a session on ramping up networking and career skills. Next-door, Rhoda Royce, the wife of MC President Lee Royce, worked with graduate dean Debbie Norris, to help students enhance their resumes. A fashion show led by MC students dressed for success was a crowd pleaser again this year.

"We are getting quite a few resumes," said Becky White, marketing director at the Eubank & Betts accounting firm. "We always need entry-level people."

Bo Lin, 23, a senior accounting major from China, stopped by the booth and left with a handful of information about the company in the Jackson area. "I'm looking for an accounting summer internship. I graduate in December."

James Hill Sr., part-time personnel director with the Lawrence County schools, said teaching jobs are available although he's worried about the district's funding level next year. He's hopeful his district will gain additional funds through via the economic stimulus package signed recently by President Barack Obama.

As the Career Day was winding down, Tim Martin, assistant superintendent with the Clinton public schools, said he's optimistic MC grads in the Class of 2009 will find employment. "There always will be jobs in education."

MC communication major Anthony Cagle, 22, of Clinton, said he was impressed with the diverse group of employers making their way to the Clinton campus. "A lot of potential opportunities are here," he said. Cagle plans to go to work after graduation in May, then attend law school.

Carla Nicks, a 23-year employee with United Parcel Service, said students shouldn't get discouraged by the grim news about the nation's economy. "We still have jobs available. The economy hasn't stopped any of our packaging."

MC business administration major, Justin Barrett, 20, of Wiggins, was among scores of visitors stopping by the UPS table to inquire about opportunities. "A lot of businesses are here," said the MC junior.

Jonathan Dillon, an MC senior from Houston, Texas and former MC Choctaws basketball player, spent a few minutes meeting with a staffer at the Mississippi Teachers Center. It is part of the Mississippi Department of Education. Chan Cleveland, a former teacher and coach and recruiter at the center in Jackson, encouraged him to give the profession a try.

A communication major, Dillon stuffed his bag with Cleveland's business card and handy booklets detailing the route to becoming a teacher.

Other professions were well-represented at the MC Career Day, including nursing. "We do love MC nurses - they are very well prepared when they come here,"said Jodi Creed, a recruiter with Baptist Health Systems. Her table featured lots of Mardi Gras beads along with a ton of information about the nursing profession.

MC senior Samanthia Coleman, 21, of Jackson, believes her nursing degree (she graduates in May) will prove valuable for decades to come. "I think there will always be a need for nurses," she said.

Lindsey-Lloyd and Taff turned to a team of fellow MC employees, faculty and student leaders to make Career Day go smoothly again this year.

Photo: MC senior Sammy Chandna meets with Trey Usry, a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

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