Graduation for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is May 18, and many students are ready to jump into the career pool.
Jana Rousset, a General Studies major, said she is excited to finally start on her career path and has already applied with several companies.
"I think it's important to start your career with entry level position with a company that you can grow with. If you want that possibility, then you have to start early," said Rousset.
Fresh out of college, most grads are tired of the part-time jobs, but Career Center Director Kim Billeaudeau said those types of positions can help grads get a foot in the door.
"If you want to work for a company or an organization, call them, go in and volunteer, let them get to know you and you get to know them, that way you have a better chance if they have an opening," Billeaudeau explained.
The Career Center has over 500 full-time, part-time and internship listings posted in the main office of the Conference Center and online. Billeaudeau said they are seeing a lot of activity in Acadiana, and graduates should submit résumés as soon as possible. She also warns graduates to be properly prepared.
"Many graduates have interviewed before, but the first professional interview is a lot different than interviewing for a part time job."
Her tips include dressing professionally, having a soling resume that stand out and weighing the pros and cons of each job. "We tell our graduates to evaluate the offer. How is that company going to help me? What kind of support are you going to get?" she said.
Beginning a career path can be frustrating, but the Lafayette Economic Development Authority is trying to make the search easier; with a job fair just a few weeks before graduation. The LEDA job fair offers the opportunity to visit with over one hundred companies from several different fields. CEO of LEDA, Gregg Gothreaux said if a graduate is looking for the perfect career, May 15 is the day to do it.
"The unique thing about this job fair is that it offers people so many different choices. They should come in dressed professionally and be ready for an interview," he explained.
Gothreaux said entry-level positions are tough to secure as UL Lafayette graduates with competition from SLCC and LSU.
"But, I believe UL Lafayette graduates will be able to sell themselves. That's what they really need to do, is go up and talk to the people at the job fair. A company might realize that while they thought they wanted an experienced professional, an entry level might be just as good."
The job fair takes place Wednesday, May 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cajundome Convention Center.