City Career Expo helps students looking for jobs

Something unusual crept across campus on the morning of April 15. A black van, owned by radio station Z90.3, drove into the Gorton Quad and parked. From the van exploded a purple tent – outfitted with turntables and a DJ – and spokeswoman Vanessa Flores, who interns with the popular radio station.

Some students misinterpreted Z90.3’s presence as a promise of fun-filled careers in radio.

Flores was asked, “How can we get jobs with Z90.3?!”

“Sorry, no jobs here,” she smiled. “We just provide the music.”

The Career Expo was punctuated with the thump of danceable beats, courtesy of the head-nodding, track-changing DJ, who selected songs by the likes of Lil’ Wayne, Jamie Foxx and Missy Elliot. This was the finale of a three day string of career-related events offered at City College.

Flores encouraged City students to spin a wheel and win prizes such as free keychains emblazoned with “San Diego’s #1 station for hip hop and R&B.”

Perhaps the most ominous symbol of the event was the climate, both meteorologically and financially: the Expo came on a windy Tax Day in the midst of a recession.

And how many of those booths actually offered real prospects of a salary or benefits?

Why did the image of business cards and pamphlets blowing haphazardly through the quad seem eerily appropriate?

“Blame it on the E-E-E-E-E-Economy.”

Here’s a simple formula:

The number of jobs is declining, plus more people are competing for jobs equals Mario Vera staying in school for as long as he can.

“I’m thinking about a career in medicine,” Vera said.

Vera used his time at the Expo to meet representatives from the University of Phoenix. He glanced over literature, schmoozed and then discussed what he’d learned with friends outside the cafeteria.

The University of Phoenix specializes in adult education, originally geared toward adults who split their time between jobs and school.

The school has since expanded to become the largest private university in the United States, with a wide palate of course offerings.

Vera doesn’t anticipate any downsizing on the number of people who get sick annually or will need quality healthcare.

“I do know one thing,” said Vera. “I want to stay in town.”

Lucky for him, Phoenix owns a campus right here in San Diego.

At the Bellus Academy table, students converted their booth into a make-shift salon.

Bellus student Lauren Shultz was working hair into sculptures of art. Bellus’ booth was probably the most trafficked at the entire Expo, probably because they were doing free hair demos.

“I’ve been working on both guys and girls,” said Shultz. “Spikes for the guys. Updo’s for the girls. The more funky the better.”

Bellus Academy’s motto is: We provide you with the training you need to achieve a glamorous career in less than a year.

“It’s all about the poof,” said Shulz, referring to a popular trend in updo’s.

The Bellus Academy has three locations at Poway, National City, and El Cajon.

The San Diego Police Department was one of the only booths to offer a highly-coveted twosome deal: Salary AND benefits.

A recruiter from America’s finest police force distributed information about how City College Students could get themselves into the front seat of a squad car.

Applicants must be at least 20 years of age on the day of the written test, have no prior felonies and pass a physical abilities test.

Overall, the Expo left some students with more questions than answers, asking, “You sure Z90.3 isn’t hiring?”

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City Career Expo helps students looking for jobs