Stressed students attend spring job fair

April 22, 2009 5:35:58 PM PDT
The uncertainty on Wall Street is a reflection of the uncertainty about the economy as a whole. And it is in this shaky climate that the next batch of college graduates will be trying to find work. To that end, U.C. Berkeley is offering new help.

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Come June, college graduates will try to enter the work force knowing the job market has cooled off.

"I've been telling my friends that it's not the best time to graduate this year because a lot of my friends, we don't know what we are doing," says Kat Mak, a Cal student.

The class of 2009 is understandably worried about the job market. U.C. Berkeley says it has seen a 40 percent decrease in the number of recruiters on campus this year, compared to last year. Those recruiters still looking to hire have some sound advice.

"First, the confidence piece when they walk up, but they have to show us that they have some customer service and sales experience and also leadership," says Christy Clark, a recruiting supervisor for Enterorise.

Career counselors are telling students to market themselves more than ever. Student David Elledge wore a tie to the Cal job fair thinking it would give him an edge.

"I want to make sure they have no reason to not hire me based on my appearance, basically," says Elledge.

"People hire people, not computers. So get out there and talk to your families and friends about your plans," says Suzanne Helbig, a career counselor.

The Haas School of Business found a creative way to help some of their MBA students.

"We had our dean send out a note to the entire MBA alumni community asking them to look deep into their organizations for internships and leads on behalf of our students," said Abby Scott from the Haas School MBA career services department.

It worked. Within 24 hours they had 14 new job postings and a bunch of optimistic students.

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