Career fair illustrates campus-wide interest in health industries

Senior Evelyn Fuentes
Senior Evelyn Fuentes inquires at one of the Career Fair’s booths.

By Andrew Sutphen, Staff Writer

At the Career Fair on Sept. 18. it was evident that the health industry is one of the major recruiters for Armstrong students. The reason for this seems to be fairly straightforward: Armstrong has a great nursing program and nursing itself is becoming more popular as a career, expanding into many specialized fields.

Stepping into the workforce, recent nursing program graduates have plenty of options: they can choose between the types of medicine they would like to practice, the demographic of patients such as elder care and pediatrics as well as their work environment, ranging from emergency rooms to nursing homes.

This is not to say there weren’t plenty of other fields represented at the Career Fair. Recruiters ranged between Waffle House to the Chatham County Police Department. The aerospace company Gulfstream was one of the larger draws of the fair (there was a constant line of Armstrong students waiting to speak with the Gulfstream recruiter). There were flyers promoting their student internship program.

Graduate student Ana Mani commented on the appeal of Gulfstream: “It’s the best place to work in Savannah. They have health benefits, great pay and even give their employees housing,” she said.

“It comes down to the quality and integrity of a person”, Gulfstream recruiter Zach Barnard said, commenting on the type of qualities the company looks for.

Mani, a political science major originally from Kosovo, was told by another recruiter that In some cases, people apply for years before they are offered a position.

This may seem daunting at first but it also illustrates just how desirable a career at a profitable company can be considering the high rate of unemployment. As of June 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics posted that the unemployment rate for the state of Georgia is 7.4 percent.

But the numbers are not all bad, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, because in 2013 unemployment for the population with a basic high school education was up to 17.5 percent while college grads had an unemployment rate of only 3.6 percent. This pattern generally held true for both males and females.

When asked how her job search was going, Mani stated, “I’ve applied all over the country: Atlanta, Washington, California as well as Savannah.” She also noted that, as a non U.S. Citizen, time was a factor in her job search, “If I don’t find a job in my field by October,  I may be deported. I need an employer to sponsor me for my internship.” Despite her situation, Mani seemed positive. “The job fair was helpful,” she said, while holding onto several applications.