The third floor of the Thad Cochran Center was abuzz with activity during the Fall Career Fair held on Wednesday, Oct. 20 on The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg campus.
Sponsored by Career Services, the fair is conducted twice during the academic year (spring and fall) and provides students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with potential employers across the South Mississippi region and beyond.
“We had 86 booths set up this fall and that’s about 20 more than we had for the spring turnout,” said Kathy Killam, assistant director of Career Services at Southern Miss. “I think part of that is due to the fact that the economy is starting to turn around a little bit. It’s great to see so many different companies and businesses represented on our campus at one time.”
From banking services to clothing retailers to assorted food chains, representatives from virtually every spectrum of the workplace set up displays at the Cochran Center. Julien Bousquet, a junior international business major from Toulouse, France, had both hands full of brochures and goodie bags collected from various employer booths.
Bousquet, a long-distance runner for the Southern Miss track and field squad, said he hoped the Career Fair would open a few doors to job opportunities beyond the immediate area.
“I have talked with a couple of people about possible internships,” said Bousquet. “What I really want to find is something outside the U.S., possibly back in France because that’s where I intend to work on my master’s degree.”
Houston Steelman serves as store manager for the apparel retailer Buckle in Hattiesburg’s Turtle Creek Mall. Steelman said the Career Fair served as a natural fit for his company and Southern Miss students.
“An event like this is just another opportunity for Buckle to do what it does best and that is interact with people – whether it’s customers or possible employees,” said Steelman. “We’re a growing company with 420 stores nationwide in 41 states. “Buckle is a great place to start a career and this Career Fair is a great way for anyone interested to get headed in the right direction.”