YSU Students Greet, Impress, on Meet Employers Day

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The students came well prepared to participate in Meet the Employers Day Tuesday afternoon at Youngstown State University.

They were a younger reflection of the grooming and business attire of their potential employers who stood on other the other side of the 54 tables on the first floor of Williamson Hall.

The students, mostly juniors and seniors, had rehearsed their 30-second “elevator pitches,” as Christina Costello calls them, the advertisements for themselves they deliver upon introducing themselves, hoping to pique the interest of the company representatives.

Costello, who organized the session, is a coordinator in the Williamson College of Business Administration Office of Professional Practice

The students were nervous – some barely showing the stress they felt, others a bit more visibly – but then, so were some of the company representatives.

Samantha Niznik, a human resources administrator for the Cafaro Co., Youngstown, participated in Meet the Employers Day two years ago – as a senior at YSU. Representing her company, she said, made her a little nervous as well, but in a different way. Little did she think two years ago, she said, that she would return to her alma mater to sound out the students and answer questions about internships.

After handing her his resume, Dillon Palmer of Warren, a junior majoring in marketing management, inquired about an internship at Cafaro, left happy about what he learned and the opportunity for an internship at the Eastwood Mall complex.

One purpose of Meet the Employers, Costello said, is for students to learn about internships, whether for the summer or during the school year, and businesses to inform them about the internships they offer.

Fifty-four employers, mostly from the private sector with a smattering of government offices, such as the Ohio auditor of state, and nonprofits attended. Well represented were companies that provide financial services – commercial banks, consumer finance companies, brokerage firms and insurance agents – and public accounting firms.

Even Becker Professional Education had a table where its representative alerted accounting majors of its tutoring and review services after graduation and they sit for their CPA exams.

A sizeable fraction of the company representatives sent a YSU graduate to man or help man a table.

From the Home Savings and Loan Co., Patty Hanna, a 1983 graduate who majored in marketing management, informed students that banking requires many and diverse services to support lending, such as compliance and risk management, internal real estate management, human resources and marketing.

Hanna wanted to meet accounting and finance majors as well, she said.

Home Savings usually has three interns at a given time, Hanna said, and told how a YSU senior performed so well last spring that he was immediately hired full-time upon graduation.

At the Enterprise rental car table, talent acquisition specialist Ashley Jones told Sarah Mathews of Girard, about the many paths Enterprise Holdings Co. offers. Mathews, a second-semester sophomore pursuing a double major in accounting and finance, was inquiring about internships and, she said, looking at a career with a CPA firm and other avenues.

Enterprise hires more college graduates than any other U.S. company, Jones wanted a reporter to know, and hires college graduates with a wide variety of backgrounds and skills. The parent of Alamo, National and Enterprise car rentals, seeks candidates who are “energetic, competitive and want to work in sales. And have a sense of humor.”

Joe Harbert, district manager of Springleaf Financial, a consumer finance company, said his employer “just purchased our largest competitor” and is looking to expand and hire. Springleaf, formerly American General Finance, has a presence in 46 states and extends loans of $1,500 to $25,000 for personal finance, to consolidate credit card debt, auto loans and to refinance auto loans.

“People skills are just as important as knowing your subject,” Harbert answered to what he was looking for.

So the students would remember the companies they talked, nearly every table had a memento in additional to the brochures, flyers and other handouts. Ballpoint pens with a company’s name were the most common but highlighters, flash drives, USB chargers, suckers, small green footballs, windshield scrapers, key rings, lens wipes and coasters – all bearing the company name or logo, of course – were there as reminders.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.