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Career Fair Introduces Job Opportunities

February 9th, 2010

By Sarah Pride

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722
OfficeOfCommunications@phc.edu

Senior Special Agent Jay Culley discusses the job possibilities that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement opens up for PHC students

In what is now a twice-yearly rite, several quality organizations recently hosted tables in the lobby of the Barbara Hodel Center (BHC) for the spring 2010 Career Fair. Sponsored by the Office of Student Life, the fair featured representatives from several firms that have now visited Patrick Henry College multiple times to recruit students as employees and interns. As first-time representative Carolyn Bolls from the Leadership Institute said, “PHC has very high-quality students who would help us fulfill our goals.”

In the case of the Leadership Institute, those goals would include political training to help prospective candidates win elections and govern wisely. Organizations with a very different direction, such as the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), also receive significant student interest. Senior Special Agent Jay Culley told students, “You can really maximize your potential at ICE. You can work as an agent in the field, at a desk, or overseas.

“The programs PHC offers in government, especially international relations and strategic intelligence,” Culley said, “give students a great background for employment.”

On the more theatrical side, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, VA sent two representatives, who kept a running tally of the students who stopped by their table. They were looking for college students to fill positions at this unique outdoor venue, which attracts thousands to world-renowned musical and theatrical performances. Production Assistant Sharon Kudobeck explained that students often work as ushers, park guides, theater technicians, and more.

Students (L to R) Ian Reid, Zachary Enos, and Ryan Rogge learn about the Koch Associate Program

“If I decide on the spot, Karis is awesome,” joked House Manager Sam Swersky within earshot of junior Karis Lichtenwalter, “I can make a few phone calls, break through the red tape, and hire you right now.”

Kudobeck regularly sends job postings to 60 area colleges. In this case, she relates, Dean of Student Life Sandra Corbitt responded, inviting Wolf Trap to attend the spring career fair.

“The school’s career fair is free; it’s close by; and it’s a commutable distance,” said Kudobeck.

One of the fair’s highlights was the appearance of an associate from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, who spent an hour explaining the Koch Associate Program to a full classroom of interested students. For business-minded students with a keen interest in free markets and entrepreneurship, the program offers unique opportunities to network and learn the inner workings of successful non-profit organizations. Last year, alum Jessica Runk became one of 83 Associates chosen from 1300 applicants to receive a year-long instruction in “Market-Based Management” while working at a D.C. non-profit. Currently, several PHC seniors have applied for next year’s program.

Resident Director for Men Matthew Lukowiak, a 2009 PHC graduate, arranged with organizations to attend the career fairs both last semester and this January. He reports that he found this most recent event encouraging, both because of the quality of returning organizations who sent representatives and because of intense student interest.

“We’re trying to get organizations to come that want PHC students,” he said, “as well as those that students are also interested in, so that it’s a good return on everyone’s investment.”

Career fairs at PHC will continue to grow as the alumni network expands and the College builds on its excellent reputation with area companies.