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Hannah Clausen, junior in information systems, talks with Jeff Penord, from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Monday, Sept. 10. Meet the Firm Day is one of the many events Career Services holds a calender of events is listed on the PSU website. Logan Wiley

Meet the Firms introduces students to new opportunities

As students reach their final years on campus and begin to look towards the future, some have to search far and wide while others look no further than the Crimson and Gold ballroom.  

Career Services hosted their 15th annual Meet the Firms Day on Monday from 4 to 5:30 pm. Although anyone was welcome to come, the event was geared towards those going into accounting, finance, economics, or computer information systems.  

“Part of the reason for the event being hosted so early in the year is, particularly with accounting, they do their recruitment season extremely early,” director of career services Mindy Cloninger said, “They need to wrap up all their hiring for both internships and full time before tax season starts. They won’t typically do any recruiting in the spring, so that’s a big part of the reason why we created this event fifteen years ago was to help them fit the specific needs of their workforce.” 

There were a total of 27 organizations represented at the event, ranging from Northwest Mutual to Crossland Construction to Blue Cross and Blue Shield to ConocoPhillips.  

“When I got hired on with ConocoPhillips, we weren’t at the Pitt State fair yet,” 2016 graduate Sydney Brandecker said. 

“So when I went there, I really made it a mission to get back to Pittsburg State because we hadn’t been here to recruit in about eight years. Now I’m back here recruiting at my alma mater and that’s awesome.” Brandecker also added. 

Brandecker and other ConocoPhillips employees were in attendance, searching for accounting and finance interns for the summer of 2019. Although this may seem early, Cloninger emphasized that the earliness of the fair was one of its most essential components.  

“Most traditional fairs aren’t going to happen until two or three weeks from now or even later,” Cloninger said, “So, it does help students to get in front of organizations and corporations at the right time. It also is super helpful for the employers to get this opportunity to accommodate their recruiting season. It’s really helpful for them. This is an industry, accounting and finance, that relies real heavily on internships. They do need to talk to students early in their university careers. Even some internships will take place in sophomore or junior year, as well as between junior and senior year. Overall, they need that chance to get to connect with the students. It’s a great one stop shop type opportunity.” 

Both current students and alumni appreciated the fair for the connections it was able to provide between the campus and the business world.  

“I come back and it’s just a flow of all these memories,” Brandecker said, “My coworkers joke that I must really love Pitt State because some of them haven’t been here before so when I went to show them around, I found myself giving tours to everybody. I am proud to be a graduate of Pitt State and I really want to help other students get a good job because I know what a great company ConocoPhillips is, and how much we have to offer.” 

Over 60 students pre-registered for the event, with many additional students walking in throughout. This included students ranging from sophomores to seniors. 

“I had never gone before and was always nervous about attending,” said Kennedy Stein, senior in computer information systems and management, “So, I decided I would suck it up this year to see if it would be beneficial. And I actually was offered an interview with Koch Industries, so it did end up being beneficial. It also showed me what I’m not interested in doing with my career so I feel like it was a learning experience as well.” 

After Meet the Firms Day, several organizations stayed on campus to offer interviews to students who wanted to gain more information and potentially gain positions from the organizations. 


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