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33 organizations show up at Non-Profit Career Fair

K. AARON VANOOSTERHOUT | Thursday, March 25, 2004

At the last minute, six additional non-profit organizations signed up for the first annual Non-Profit Career Fair, bringing representatives from 33 organizations to campus Wednesday speak with students and drum up interest for their programs.Around 150 students attended the fair, according to Alexandria Lewis, Law School Career Center administrator, which took place from 5 to 8 p.m.Anita Rees, associate director of the Career Center, said she was expecting a higher attendance”It was a little slower than I had thought it would be,” she said.Despite the low turnout, however, Rees said she does not expect representatives to ignore future non-profit fairs. “Employers … liked this opportunity to talk to students who were specifically interested in them,” she said.Those employers included the Alliance for Catholic Education, Teach for America, Lawndale Christian Health Center and the Crotona Center.Representatives from New York-based Crotona, an institution “working to improve the lives of boys in the Bronx,” according to their brochure, spoke with 15 to 20 students last night.They also accepted résumés for two new directorial positions. Representative John Sengenberger, a Notre Dame senior said the company was “looking to expand,” from their current six employees to eight.Karen Poulsen, human resources coordinator at Lawndale, explained she did not expect to find any potential employees at the fair. Instead, she was “looking for exposure.”Poulsen said the majority of the 250 employees at the Chicago-based health center found their job by word of mouth, and that is what she hopes will happen as a result of her presence at the fair.”It’s not easy working there, it’s way more than a job,” she said. “It’s a calling, kind of.”Victor Heard, another representative for Lawndale, seemed more optimistic. “[Students] need to venture out, [and] we figure that Chicago would be a good place for people to venture out to,” he said. “There are a lot of job openings, because we’re busy growing.”Approximately 60 of the 85 jobs and internships offered at the fair were full-time, paid positions, catering to those graduating seniors and post-graduate students looking for an alternative to the for-profit sector. “I need a job, and I’m not the 9 to 5 type,” Saint Mary’s senior and philosophy major Natalie Hock said. With her particular field of study, Hock worried that jobs might be scarce. Last night’s fair brought hope, however, she said.”I think that these organizations are interested in someone that’s a little bit of everything, instead of so focused on one aspect of study,” Hock said.On the other hand, Dan Lavrisha, an undeclared sophomore at Notre Dame, did not attend the fair to find a future career, but rather said he was only looking for an internship. He said he “wanted to make a difference” during his four years at school, “to have that rah-rah spirit out of college.”