ECSU Career Fair Gives Students Glimpse at Life After Graduation

Students gather at Career Fair 2017

When Edenton native Ken Kinion graduated from Elizabeth City State University in 1984, he went out into the world and made a career for himself. Now, more than three decades later, Kinion returned to his alma mater for Career Day, to let students know that there are great opportunities available to them, too.

Kinion is a vice president and director of government relations with One Main, a financial services company. He was joined by two executives from the national company, letting ECSU students know about the internship opportunities available to them, and what the future may hold as well.

“A recent intern who graduated in May was promoted to a manager in June,” said Deidre Gwin, a One Main vice president, who explained that her organization offers paid internships and a bonus package with the potential for post-graduation careers.

Gwin joined Kinion and One Main district manager Chris Warren at the fair, held inside the Ridley Student Center on Wednesday, Oct. 18. She explained that ECSU students can apply for internships with the local office, and hope to continue with the company after graduation, gaining business skills and potentially developing a lifelong career with the company.

“We’re training leaders,” she said.

One Main was one of 15 organizations at the Ridley Student Center. A large number of ECSU students spoke to the businesses, representatives from graduate school programs such as East Carolina University, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Navy, all in an effort to think about the possibilities for life after graduation.

According to one Navy recruiter, pilots are currently in big demand. ECSU aviation students are ideal for their needs. The recruiters said they were on hand in hopes of finding the right students to sign on, and with their degree in hand, become an officer in the Navy.

Other organizations included the Norfolk and Suffolk, Virginia police departments. Suffolk police officer and recruiter Dwayne Wiggins said there is a big need for young men and women, and they’re not recruiting just graduates with criminal justice degrees.

“It doesn’t matter what your degree is,” he said.

Wiggins says joining a police department is not necessarily about becoming a patrol officer. There are a number of job possibilities, including an intelligence analyst or crime analyst, the latter being responsible for researching crime-related information to better prepare police for potential trouble spots in their communities.

Many of the recruiters represented say their organizations offer far more than what job seekers may expect. Vidant Health recruiter Pam Armstrong said while nurses are the biggest need, people considering careers should realize that a health-related organization also needs IT people, engineers, and even executive administrators.

Other internships include the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. Outreach director Tiffany Upshaw says they are looking for students interested in STEM fields to apply between now and January.

For more information about these organizations and their internships, contact the ECSU director of career development, Mikitta Whitehurst-McLean at 252-335-3355.