SUNY ESF students survey job landscape at career fair

Students talk to potential employers at career fair

For students like Emily Lawson, Syracuse is homeâ?¦at least during her college years. She came here from Florida to pursue a degree in Conservation Biology at SUNY ESF. She has a passion for wildlife, and hopes to land a job in the field when she graduates in May.

â??A lot of areas that we usually end up in, field biologists, would be in biodiversity hot spots. And those tend to be in those developing worlds, and not so much up here.â??

But Emily isnâ??t closing the door on Central New York just yet. In her final year of school, as she walks through Wednesdayâ??s career fair, Emily is keeping an open mind on where sheâ??ll end up.

â??Iâ??m looking forward to going through here later and talking with some potential employers, because Iâ??m not even sure I wanna leave.â??

And Emily is one of some 500 students who showed up to scope out the job prospects locally, hoping to catch the eye of employers like Bernier, Carr & Associates. They too are looking to link up with these promising young students to fill jobs open for engineers, architects, land surveyors, and construction managers. Theyâ??re trying to combat the so-called â??brain drainâ??, where students spend four years here and then take a job someplace else.

Kelly Reinhardt of Bernier, Carr & Associates tells me she thinks the brain drain isnâ??t all itâ??s cracked up to be. â??I think it might be a myth. I donâ??t know about the brain drain. We have good jobs in and around Central and Northern New York. Weâ??re hiring today, weâ??re hiring tomorrow, we hired last year. Weâ??re hiring right out of college, and beyond.â??

But it may take more convincing for some students, like senior Kevin Phu. â??Iâ??d like to apply to the Peace Corps, and you know, study and live abroad for a few years before settling down anywhere.â??

Still, employers are reaching out through venues like this, hoping to attract bright, young talent. So students may stick around longer than they expected to.