By Kylee Dawson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, October 6, 2004
To help students gain the skills necessary to find a job, the UA Hispanic Alumni will host the Annual Faculty, Staff and Student Networking Expo tomorrow.
The purpose of the expo is to show Hispanic UA students the importance of networking, said Oscar Lujan, executive director of the UA Hispanic Alumni.
Lujan said the expo will help students who lack the initiative to approach individuals become more comfortable when speaking with strangers, such as potential employers.
"(Hispanics) are part of this university so it's important to show our spirit and support for the UA," Lujan said.
Lujan also said an average of 500 students show up to the expo every year, but he expects about 600 to attend this year.
This year's expo will differ from last year's because company representatives will not simply stand behind their tables. Instead, representatives will approach students from all areas of the expo to speak with them and exchange business cards, Lujan said.
He said the method of approaching students rather than waiting for them to approach representatives will make students feel more comfortable.
"It's just an incentive to get them out networking. And that's what we want to teach students," Lujan said. "It may not assure them a job, but it will show them that networking is important. This is what you got to do to get a job once you receive a degree."
Ian Durnan, a political science senior, has helped prepare the expo for the past three years.
"I guess my most important contribution is being there and showing my support as a Hispanic student," Durnan said.
As an Hispanic Alumni scholarship recipient, Durnan said it is important for Hispanic students to show businesses at the expo, like Allstate Insurance and Precision Toyota, how they have benefiting from scholarships awarded by those companies.
Michael Wilkinson, a Spanish senior, said he hopes the expo will help him establish connections with business and UA representatives.
"I want to teach Spanish literature, so I'm hoping to find some teachers there," Wilkinson said. "I also want to research Hispanic culture."
Wilkinson, who received a B.A. in anthropology from the UA last December, said he often changes his mind about his career and hopes representatives at the expo will offer him career alternatives.
In addition to department chairs and deans, advisers from all colleges will also be at the expo to inform students about majors, degrees and other campus programs.
The Juntos Student Advisory Council, a group that works to ensure Hispanic students are represented in campus groups will also have a table set up to recruit students to join Hispanic clubs on campus.
Free food will be available. A DJ will play salsa and traditional Mexican music at the expo and the UA Pep Band will perform.
Students who receive a business card with a star on the back of it can win a gift certificate from Target, the Casino del Sol's Bellissimo Ristorante, and other establishments.
Sponsors include Cricket Communications, Bank One, the Tucson Sidewinders, Allstate Insurance, the Raytheon Hispanic Employees Association, the Tucson Museum of Art, and the Arizona Theater Company.
The expo will be in the Jim Click Hall of Champions, part of the Eddie Lynch Pavilion, on the north side of McKale Center from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Admission is free and parking in the Cherry Avenue Garage is free after 5 p.m.