Employers seek to hire Montana State students at biannual career fair

BOZEMAN – Nearly 1,500 students in search of internships and employment opportunities, many of them dressed to impress, attended the first day of Montana State University’s Almost Spring Job and Internship Fair, where employers from across the U.S. and Montana were actively recruiting Bobcats for future careers.

MSU’s Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success hosts the biannual job fair, which this spring featured 212 employers. The two-day spring event is taking place in MSU’s Strand Union Building ballrooms.

“There are many opportunities for all students, including freshmen, to network with employers as they think about their career and finding meaningful work,” said Jennifer Shore, director of career and internship services at the Yarnell Center. “This past fall, those two days resulted in over 750 interviews for our Bobcats on campus during Fair week, with many more students interviewing thereafter.  This is a terrific opportunity for students to learn more about their purpose for earning a college degree.”

Employers include local, regional and national private companies from myriad sectors, as well as more than 25 city, state and federal government entities.

Joe Kaiser, representing Hilcorp Energy Co., said he’s looking to fill summer internships in the Prudhoe Bay oil field along the northern coast of Alaska.

“We like coming here because Montana State students like the outdoors and having adventures,” Kaiser said. “They typically work to live rather than live to work. That makes them a good fit for Alaska.”

Jacob Pierce, a junior from Billings studying architecture, attended Day 1 of the job fair in search of a summer internship. His first stop: Bozeman-based SMA Architecture and Design.

“I specifically wanted to meet with SMA,” Pierce said. “They’re local, and it’s cool seeing them supporting the students here are MSU.”

Pierce said his career goal is to design buildings meant to be visited by the public.

“I enjoy creating things that the public can enjoy and interact with,” he said, mentioning dormitories and museums as examples. “Large-scale projects with hundreds of people coming in every day and going through the building.”

Ilene Robinson, a human relations coordinator for Great West Engineering with offices in Idaho, Montana and Washington, said her company is looking to hire three civil engineering students for summer internships as well as to fill a number of full-time positions.

“We’re here to meet these MSU students and offer them a career, if possible,” she said. “We have five offices and we’re always in need because we’re always growing.”

Robinson said “several” MSU alumni currently work for Great West Engineering.

The job fair is one of several events to take place in February geared toward helping MSU students reach their career goals, including interview preparation and salary negotiation training.