FUSE career fair sparks job opportunities for area students

By Colleen Ford, Contributor

Over 700 students gathered in the West Ballroom of the Spokane Convention Center for the FUSE Career Fair on March 1.  Around 117 local, national and international businesses were represented at the fair.

Students from EWU, Gonzaga, Washington State University and Whitworth were invited to attend the event at no cost.

Represented employers included big-name companies such as Hershey and the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as local businesses such as Spokane Baseball Umpires and the KXLY Broadcast Group. The careers ranged from real estate to seafood and everything in between.

The fair has been around for the past 20 years and is available to both students and alumni of the four colleges. The main goal is to provide networking opportunities for both the businesses and attendees.

“It’s interesting to see everything that’s out there,” senior Khyler Howland said.

Howland receives plenty of job and internship opportunities through his professors at EWU, but was glad he came to check it out anyway.

Students milled around the ballroom, swapping resumés for leaflets and free merchandise handed out at the rows of tables, while many stopped to talk with representatives about future employment options.

“I’ve been to the fair before,” senior Connor Irvin said. “It’s a good way for people to get a little experience in their career field.”

Mitchell Fenton, senior, and Clark Rabe, junior, are both computer science majors at EWU. The two of them enjoyed being able to explore the variety of work available after graduation.

“It’s about learning how all these businesses and companies differ from each other,” Fenton said.

One of the companies represented was Gravity Jack, an American company providing mobile apps, virtual and augmented reality, computer vision and more. Rabe expressed his excitement at being able to personally talk to representatives of such a successful company.

Not everyone found such satisfaction with the fair, however.

“I would personally like to have more of a specialized fair,” junior Baily Britz said. He studies construction management at EWU and did not find the fair to be very fulfilling. “I’ve already finished talking to the only construction management guy here.”

The career fair was arranged by the Career Services departments from each of the colleges. The FUSE fair is just one of the opportunities EWU provides to network with professionals.

In addition to providing job fairs, Career Services provide internship workshops, salary negotiation workshops and drop-in resume editing sessions.