May 25, 2016

Good Turnout for COPH’s First Career Fair

The College of Public Health’s first career fair, held in Bruce Commons on May 10, drew a steady flow of interested students as well as a few alumni. The COPH Office of Student Affairs hosted the event. Marie Walker, MS, OSA’s Public Health Practice Coordinator, had the idea for the fair and was its coordinator.

“Even though it was finals week, more than 30 students attended, and we were very pleased with the turn-out and the vendors,” Ms. Walker said. “We are a great team, and I think the Office of Student Affairs did a wonderful job pulling everything together to make our first event a success.”

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Army Corps of Engineers and the Arkansas Department of Health took part as vendors.

Park ranger is not a job commonly associated with a public health degree, but according to Joe Bailey, recruiter for the Army Corps of Engineers, the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree puts one in the running for a position as park ranger or natural resource specialist. With several openings at local state parks recently, he encouraged graduates to apply.

At the time of the fair, Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) also had some openings for which “a bachelor’s is required, but an MPH is preferred,” said Evie Rodgers, ACH recruiter.

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) does not keep count of how many of its 3,000 employees have an MPH or other health-related degree, but according to Xavier Heard, ADH Director of Human Resources, MPH degree holders are contributing significantly to the “intellectual capital” at the agency.

“The MPH is the MBA for public health,” Mr. Heard said. “The MPH is growing broader and broader” in its application – “anything where things are done for people.”

Mr. Heard advised job seekers to check the ADH job list daily because it is always changing, and because it will almost always have at least one job for which an MPH or Master of Health Administration degree is a strong qualifier.

Ms. Walker is already thinking about how to make the 2017 career fair an even better event.

“Even though we were pleased with group of vendors this year, we are looking at a number of ways to improve the career fair throughout the years,” she said. “We will start the PR earlier for next year’s career fair, and it is our hope that this will allot the necessary time for more vendors to place us on their calendars. We hosted the career fair during finals week this time, and we are looking at changing the month of the event to April because we feel that April is the best month to maximize our students’ attendance. The Office of Student Affairs was very pleased with the turnout, and our hope is for it to continue to grow throughout the years.”