By Karyn Spory, Mt. Pleasant News
With graduation on the horizon, Iowa Wesleyan senior Siyun Feng was on the hunt for a career she?d be able to use her newly minted accounting degree during the campus? ?Hire a Tiger? event on Thursday, Nov. 2.
The event brought a host of local and regional businesses onto campus for a career fair. Feng, who wants to stay in Mt. Pleasant after graduating said she was interested in several of the financial institutions.
?I love Iowa Wesleyan and the community and want to stay and do my OPT (optional practical training),? said Feng.
The optical practical training is a program for international students that allows them to stay in the states and work a full-time job in their chosen field to gain additional experience before returning home.
Feng said she was very interested in Cambridge and Edward Jones Financial Services.
Rich Muller, of Edward Jones, said the career fair was a great way for he and his company to interact with the students and possible future employees. ?We?re nationwide so we?re always looking for people throughout the United States and Canada to fill the role of a financial adviser,? said Muller.
Muller?s associate, Whitney Rogers, said that?s one of the benefits of Edward Jones. ?A lot of kids come to Mt. Pleasant to go to school here and aren?t necessarily looking to stay, they want to go back home. Being a nationwide company, they can get exposure here while they?re in Mt. Pleasant, but if they choose this as their career path, they can go and serve their hometown community,? said Rogers.
Katherine Evans, director of career development and internships at Iowa Wesleyan, said the ?Hire a Tiger? event was to allow students to network with employers so they could find out about career or internship opportunities.
?Every student at Iowa Wesleyan is required to do an internship so we invited companies that are looking for part-time employees, future full-time employees or if there?s an opportunity locally or regionally that they can intern and get that real-world, practical experience,? she said.
Evans said requiring an internship as part of the curriculum allows students to have an experience that makes them more marketable when they graduate. ?They have some of those transferrable skills that an employer wants to see,? added Evans.
?We do want students, if there are opportunities, to stay in southeast Iowa and help the community grow and thrive,? said Evans.
Evans said the career fair was set up in part to show students there are great employment opportunities in Mt. Pleasant and the surrounding area.
Candice Becker and Timber Roden, of Innovairre, said they were excited to be at the career fair and connect with IW students.
?With the Iowa Wesleyan career fair we?re hoping to make more of an impact with our community and know we are here to not only hire local people, but students as well to give them that career opportunity we have at our facility,? said Roden.
There were 18 businesses registered to attend the career fair.