Matti Heverline, senior accounting major, and Brittany Rhoades, junior public relations major, gather information at the Spring Job Expo.

Kenna Peters / The Chart

Matti Heverline, senior accounting major, and Brittany Rhoades, junior public relations major, gather information at the Spring Job Expo.

Area employers and students gathered March 9 in the Billingsley Student Center on the Missouri Southern campus for the Spring Job Expo.

Jeffiner Thompson, an attorney for  Legal Aid of Western Missouri, said the organization hopes to hire a paralegal and is offering internships. One of the main things she looks for in an employee is strong people skills.

“Most of the people we are dealing with are going through some sort of crisis at the moment,” Thompson said, “so they need compassion and patience.”

Bubba Fontaine was on hand to recruit persons ages 17 through 21 for the Missouri State Parks Youth Corps.

“We don’t have funding for advertising,” Fontaine said, “so this is a great opportunity to talk to people about our program.”

George Foster, of Jack Henry & Associates, Inc., said the company has hired a lot of MSSU graduates.

“MSSU teaches RPG, one of our primary [computer] languages, and has a strong accounting program,” Foster said.

Brittany Rhoades, junior public relations major, and Matti Heverline, senior accounting major, had spoken to employers about sales positions, something neither had considered before.

“We’ve already seen new possibilities for jobs,” Heverline said. “You have to be adaptable.”

The Job Expo, according to Heverline and Rhoades, is a great opportunity for students to see what jobs are available at businesses, both local and outside of the community.

“It’s just trying to find a different way to look beyond what your major is and being able to market yourself,” Rhoades said.

Diane Cameron, senior general studies major, had taken part in several mini-interviews during the Job Expo.

“I’ve been to almost every one since I started college, and felt that I had more confidence this time,” she said.

Phaedra Earhart, who graduated in December 2010 with a degree in business management, said it was a lot different attending the Expo after graduation instead of as a student.

“When you come back after you graduate, it seems a lot smoother. I got to know a lot more people this time,” she said.

Pat Hurley, director of Career Services, was pleased by the success of the day.

“We had a few more employers today than we did for the October Career Development Day, so we are hoping that’s a sign of more job and internship opportunities,” Hurley said.  “We had a good overall turnout of students.”

According to Hurley, each class level has a different experience or need.

“First-year students have the chance to become acquainted with the types of organizations that recruit. Juniors and seniors can apply for actual internships and full-time jobs.”

Career Services said it will be a few days before they have an actual count of students that participated in the event. There were 45 vendors, including corporations, non-profit organizations, military recruiters and graduate schools attending.