YSU Students Encouraged by Career Opportunities

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Erin Nunnery sees students from Youngstown State University as a good fit for her employer, Mascaro Construction.

The construction company, based in Pittsburgh, has a list of projects that includes Heinz Field, the first phase of Shell’s cracker plant in Monaca, Pa., and hospitals, hotels, bridges and power plants.

Mascaro was among 78 employers who met YSU students seeking to fill full-time jobs, internships and co-op positions Wednesday at YSU’s Fall 2017 Career Fair. The fair drew students from first-semester freshmen to graduates and graduate students.

Employers in fields that range from psychology, counseling and social work to criminal justice, information technology and business were represented at the fair, said Christina Hardy, director of career and academic advising at YSU.

“We have employers from across the board hiring majors from across the university,” Hardy said. The fair is “the major event for students connecting with employers and getting hired and having a positive career outcome” when they leave YSU, she added.

Nunnery was specifically seeking engineering students for internships and co-ops. The company offers a program that provides students with experience in the office and in the field for “a construction company moving in real time and real projects that we’re working on,” she said.

“It really gives them a great experience to see how the construction world works and also gives us a really good chance to see what type of talent YSU has to offer for us,” she continued.

This is Mascaro’s first year at the job fair. Nunnery encouraged her company to attend based on her experiences with YSU students when she was with a previous employer, she said. She characterized them as “great people” to bring into a company.

“We are a real family-oriented, blue-collar kind of company, and I feel like the students that come out of Youngstown really embody what Mascaro is,” she remarked. “They’re hard workers. They are honest people. They really want to come in and learn when they come in for the internships. They don’t take anything for granted.”

Christina Hardy is director of Career & Academic Advising at YSU. Erin Nunnery is HR coordinator at Mascaro Construction.

Pharmacy Data Management Inc. in Poland, a claims processing provider for pharmacies, typically seeks candidates for positions that “run the gamut” from pharmacy to development, said its manager of data services, Ken Jackson. Yesterday Pharmacy Data looked to fill positions for client services representatives, IT developers and a help desk.

“We’re always looking for someone who is passionate about what they do, people who like to try new things and are wiling to come in and make a difference,” he said.

Dinesol Plastics, an injection molder in Niles, was another first-time exhibitor.

The range of positions Dinesol seeks also varies, human resource generalist Juli Kilgore said. The company is expanding so she was looking for engineering students for internships and co-ops, “but we have the opportunity where we could be hiring full time,” she said.

“I’m very impressed with the students so far,” she stated. “They seem to be very knowledgeable and excited about internships.”

Simon Solutions, Boardman, was seeking to fill positions in sales, laboratory and estimating, reported Allison Vross, regional marketing specialist.

“We’re continuing to grow as any company would like to do. So we’re always expanding,” Vross said.

Yesterday the company received “a lot of good resumes,” she said.

Erin Kennedy of Cranberry Township, Pa., was among the students who spoke with the Simon representatives. Having just transferred to YSU so she could be in a “top-notch engineering program,” the mechanical engineering student said she expects to graduate in 2019.

“Talking with employers has been great,” she said. “Everyone has been super-courteous. Everyone talks about how wonderful YSU is.”

Other exhibitors at the fair were representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The bureau is looking for candidates in disciplines as diverse as computer science and IT, engineering, biology, chemistry, foreign languages and regional studies, said Michael Tom, special agent with the FBI Cleveland office.

“There’s always been a big push for attorneys and accountants as well, but with the way the world is anymore, cyber and technology is a huge thing. So the bureau is trying to be at the forefront with law enforcement with that if they can, as well as the STEM majors,” Tom said. While the bureau isn’t set up to train people in these fields, “I can train you to be an agent,” he said.

Jason Nussle of Newton Falls represented a prospect for the bureau. Nussle is in his final semester studying IT and has a minor in forensic science. “I’m really hoping to be an analyst for the FBI,” he remarked.

Employers take the fall hiring fair “very seriously,” YSU’s Hardy said.

“Employers hire about nine months before graduation,” she said. “As far as the employers are concerned, it’s equally as important as the spring career fair.”

Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery in Warrensville Heights has made a few hires directly from earlier YSU career fairs, said its showroom manager, Erin Tober. Her company is one of the largest plumbing wholesalers in the country – selling to plumbers, contractors and remodelers — and has showrooms nationwide, she said.

“Most of our positions here are sales positions,” she said. “We do have many different branches of sales opportunities but we do have other positions as well.”

Bailey Brown of Hermitage, Pa., a marketing management major, was looking for a job to fill after she graduates in May. She said she was seeking for something in marketing management or in a related field such as sales or advertising. “It’s pretty broad,” she said.

Brown, who interns in the athletic department and is business development chairwoman for the Ads Club, promoted her personality, her ability to communicate and ability to relate with others as assets she would bring to an employer.

Chris Gunther of Youngstown, a telecommunications student in his final semester, was looking for a job in media. He hosts a show on YSU’s Rookery Radio.

Gunther had talked with a few of the companies at the hiring event. “Some of them look more responsive than others,” he said.

Olivia Hall of Cortland, a first-semester freshman majoring in economics, attended the job fair to network, explore internship opportunities that might be available later and learn what courses she should take.

“Most of [the employers] are just giving me information because I’m so new,” she said.

Brandon Cruz, a YSU graduate from the Bronx, N.Y., who studied psychology as an undergraduate and human resources at as a graduate student, said he was looking for an HR position or “anything related to it.”

He found the employers he spoke to very personable and easy to approach. “A lot of them are veteran-friendly. I’m also a veteran,” he said, “so that’s helping me.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.