Open air job fair: Employers highlight work opportunities

Hallie Faust and Kira Sterling

With summer just around the corner, employers are offering students exciting opportunities and work experience.

Students check out a variety of tables, including those of Great America, Kidz Love Soccer, Starbucks, the YMCA and more. Employers who attended the job fair yesterday during lunch were looking to hire students for a range of positions, from interns at Amazon to servers at McDonald’s. Employers encouraged interested and hardworking students to apply for a position, regardless of experience. “We are looking for obviously someone outgoing, somebody that can speak to other people, somebody that is hardworking and has goals in life,” said Virginia Joy Theo, who represents Starbucks. “We want partners that stay with us for a while.” Photo: Kira Sterling

The list of employers at the Palo Alto High School Job Fair on Wednesday looking to hire high school students for part-time or summer work included Amazon, the YMCA, McDonald’s, the United States Army, Stanford Dining and Teaspoon.

These are just some of over 20 employers who set up booths on the Quad, handing out pamphlets and flyers to interested candidates. Many booths also had sign-up sheets where students could request additional information about the opportunities available.

Eunice Kim, a member of the staffing recruiting department at Amazon, emphasized that the range of employment opportunities at Amazon is almost endless.

“Amazon is hiring for everything,” Kim said. “You’re into computer science? We have a lot of computer science engineering internships available. If you like graphic design, we have a department for that too.”

Kim also provided insight into what characteristics Amazon is looking for in a prospective employee.

“[We’re] looking for people who are eager and who have proactively found experience,” Kim said. “So let’s say you’re a part of any club or academically you’re excelling, that would help you with internships.”

Passion and interest seem to be a common theme in the characteristics that employers look for in students.

“We’re really looking for somebody who is enthusiastic in wanting to work in the food industry,” said Amy Silicani, a representative for Stanford Dining.

The U.S. Army was one of many employers who set up booths yesterday on the Quad during the job fair to offer information to interested students. “We’re recruiting for either part-time or full-time service,” said Grant Thomas, staff sergeant for the United States Army. “There are about 150 job opportunities.” Photo: Kira Sterling

Employees at one of Stanford’s dining halls can expect to swipe meal cards, clean up stations, bring out food or work in the dish room, Silicani said. No experience is necessary, and wages start at $18 an hour.

Representatives for the United States Army were also present at the job fair to offer information about service opportunities available to students. Candidates for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps must be able to pass a background check as well as a physical fitness test, according to the representatives. Above all, potential applicants must show interest in the program. “That’s the main thing,” said Grant Thomas, staff sergeant for the United States Army. “Somebody who is interested and qualified.”

Students made sure to take advantage of the opportunity to talk to these potential future employers.

“All the stations were really welcoming,” sophomore Callan Malone said. “It was great to see the variety of jobs that I could possibly work at this summer.”