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Career Fair Connects Students to Employers

November 12th, 2009

By Sarah Pride

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722
OfficeOfCommunications@phc.edu

RD for Men Matt Lukowiak (standing right) speaks with representative from Prison Fellowship

A dozen students clustered around a table in the Grand Lobby of the Barbara Hodel Center, watching Powerpoint flicker on a screen behind the representative from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He was explaining to the students what it is like to work at his agency. Other tables lined the lobby as well—from the Young America’s Foundation, Sharedhope International, Prison Fellowship, Liberty Counsel, and the Hudson Institute—giving a taste of the organizations where PHC students might find work as interns or full employees.

PHC’s Resident Director for Men, Matt Lukowiak, organized this first official career fair for 2009 because, he says, the Office of Student Life “saw a need” on campus. When he interviewed for the position of RD before his 2009 graduation, he noted that he wanted to help with career services in the Office of Student Life. For this school year’s first event he invited nine organizations. Five sent representatives, and ICE attended on their own initiative to recruit PHC students for employment after graduation.

“We’re already inviting organizations for next semester,” said Lukowiak. “With much greater notice, we hope to hold a larger career fair in the gym.”

He suggests that alumni can write a personal letter to the human resources departments in their workplaces and ask them to send a representative to PHC for the spring Career Fair on January 29. Alumni are also welcome to represent their companies themselves.

Serving the Young America’s Foundation as a representative this year, for example, was PHC junior Rebecca Beach. She has worked with the YAF for six years, ever since she attended one of their high-school conferences in 2004. When the YAF received its invitation to attend PHC’s career fair, they asked Beach if she wouldn’t mind standing in.

“They really motivated me to bring conservative ideas to the community college I attended before PHC,” smiled Beach, mentioning in particular a controversy that arose over a war veteran whom she invited to speak after the YAF inspired her. She also noted their internships, which offer a $1200/month stipend, and wanted her fellow PHC students to know that the organization is a “great, great connection for students looking to get involved after graduation with the conservative movement.”

“Their leaders are down-to-earth, friendly people who care so much about conservative ideas,” she enthused.

Representatives from Sharedhope International communicate their mission to a freshman

Many of the other organizations or non-profits who attended the fall 2009 career fair have already built positive relationships with PHC as well. Both Lukowiak and senior Levi Swank have interned with the Hudson Institute, a think tank based in D.C. that focuses on foreign policy. Numerous PHC students past and present have served with Prison Fellowship—so much so that Meaghan Stoner, Internship Programs Coordinator enthusiastically recommended that PHC students apply for internships by sending resumés to internresumes@pfm.org. Also, PHC alumna Amber Haskew currently works in the media department at Liberty Counsel.

Stepping away from the ICE cluster for a few moments, Daniel Charles Kight, a sophomore transfer to PHC from Pepperdine University said that he was glad PHC was providing a career fair.

“This is a very crucial summer,” he explained, stating that he is seeking to build a strong resumé for when he applies to a government agency for a job after graduation.

As PHC’s alumni network and reputation with the larger work world continues to grow, so will opportunities for its students. The strong friendships the College has built with the organizations represented at its career fair illustrate a growing number of career and ministry paths awaiting PHC students.