The 'diverse' job fair offers no employment options
The article "Diverse job market recruits U. students" in yesterday's University section painted an unrepresentative picture of the New Jersey Career Day held last Friday in the Rutgers Student Center on the College Avenue campus. Having worked at The Daily Targum personally, we're sure it wasn't the writer's fault for trying to accentuate the positive nature of a "University" event. Even so, there are some grievances that deserve attention.
Given that a majority of the companies that attended were only catering to those who are majoring in economics or in the business school, the idea of a diverse job market in the year 2009 should not be sensationalized, and the statement from the article that "companies are still hiring" was simply erroneous.
The writer claimed that the event was attended by "more than 60 recruiters." This figure is misleading: It would have been more accurate to state that the event was attended by 60 company representatives, although most booths had an average of three recruiters for the same company.
And have you ever wanted to work for the Drug Enforcement Administration? Well, you'd have been out of luck, because an hour or so into the event several of the booths were uninhabited — the product of an early lunch hour and the irresistible fair being served at the food court of our student center. Although many University students donned their best formal business attire with folders holding their resumes, the most anyone got out of an interview with a company representative was a key chain or a stylized pen. Representatives were happy to speak ad nauseum about the companies for which they worked, but usually concluded their speech with "but we're currently not hiring."
Virtually no one offered any encouraging news to seniors seeking full-time entry-level positions. It seems most of the companies with more enticing offers (such as Phillip Morris, offering a position paying $19.50 an hour) were only in the market for juniors. A surprising number of positions being pitched by recruiters were unpaid, and representatives from companies that were hiring would not take printed resumes or contact information, instead referring applicants to their corporate Web sites.
The fact is that this economic recession is directly affecting soon-to-be graduates, and we see it most cruelly illustrated in the lack of hope offered by a "diverse job market fair." It is also unfortunate that one of the biggest career fairs held by Career Services, with hundreds of companies, was held during winter break and inaccessible to students who were not in the New Brunswick vicinity. Boooo Rutgers!
Sayani Das Chaudhuri is a Rutgers College senior (unfortunately) majoring in history and art history. She was the former assignments editor at The Daily Targum.
Michael Stuzynski is a Rutgers College senior (unfortunately) majoring in English literature. He was the former opinions editor at the Targum and is the editor-in-chief of the Johnsonville Press.