YSU Students See Staying Here, Coming Back as Options

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Whether it’s available work opportunities or staying close to family, Youngstown State University students are identifying reasons to stay and work in the Mahoning Valley.

While students are encouraged to be open-minded and to look for job opportunities outside of Youngstown, some are still trying to stay here, says Abby Conrad, coordinator for the Center for Career Management at the Williamson College of Business Administration at YSU.

“We hear about the internship opportunities they are going to be doing for the summer or the upcoming fall semester,” she said. “There are positions here that need to be filled and we have the students to fill them, so it’s a great opportunity to grow the area and to keep our students here to build the area and make an impact.”

Staff at the Center for Career Management are in charge of coordinating internships for students who want to take them for academic credit, Conrad said. Often after the twice annual Meet the Employers Day career fair on YSU campus, many students come into the office to talk about the internships they got.

Abby Conrad, coordinator for the Center for Career Management

Meet the Employers Day takes place every fall and spring semester as an opportunity for students to network while researching internships and job opportunities, Conrad said. This year, 65 employers – mostly from the area – were represented during the career fair Wednesday at the Williamson College of Business Administration.

Bodine Perry, a certified public accounting firm based in Canfield, is looking for students to intern next spring, said Laura VanNess, director of marketing.

Most employees who work at Bodine Perry’s Canfield office are YSU graduates. A YSU graduate is working at Bodine Perry’s Florida office and another at its Columbus office, she noted. Both started with the firm as interns, VanNess said.

“We love to keep the talent in the Mahoning Valley, but we do want to keep the talent within our firm. So if they’re interested in growing and moving to a different area, we support that,” she said.

During the career fair last spring, Andrew Welch found a job opportunity with Eden Resources LLC. Now a junior at YSU, Welch has attended Meet the Employers Day since his freshman year and has made many friends and connections, he said.

Although he already has a job resulting from the career fair, Welch wanted to network with other professionals to find out what he’s able to do after graduation, he said. So far, he has about 10 months of experience in payroll, training and recruiting, and he wants to build on that, he said.

“I want to become an HR generalist eventually. I just want to get more aspects of HR under my belt first,” Welch said. “I want to have three years of recruiting, three years in compensation and three years in training.”

Welch is still at Eden Resources working as a talent recruiter. He has goals to move away from the area to gain independence, but if the job opportunities Welch seeks are available locally, he plans to stay here or at least come back, he said.

Theresa Gorospe, junior at YSU

Students in Youngstown tend to want to branch out of the area to see what they can do in their careers, but they eventually come back, he said.

“This is their home essentially,” he said. “It’s important for me to be near my family and as long as I’m able to find good employment here, I’ll come back.”

Theresa Gorospe, a junior at YSU, has the same idea. She is leaving the door open to eventually return to Youngstown to be near family and attended the fair to learn about local internship and job opportunities. The advertising and public relations major looks to leverage her experience last semester with the Disney College Program. The program is a semester-long paid internship at Walt Disney World Resort.

After she graduates, Gorospe plans to get an internship with The Walt Disney Co. in Florida.

“I’m still young and fulfilling my goals,” she said.

Pictured above: Though employed at Eden Resources LLC, Andrew Welch attended Meet the Employers Day to network and explore his options for after graduation.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.