THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26TH, 2020

Over 150 schools from across the globe came to represent themselves to Palo Alto students at Gunn High School’s 21st annual college fair on Monday, Oct. 8.

The majority of students attending were upperclassmen from both Palo Alto High School and Gunn High School. Packed into two separate gyms sat several rows of booths, each one representing a college with a banner, representatives and large stacks of pamphlets and informational flyers. The gyms were only open to Paly and Gunn students for the first hour, but afterwards they were open to parents and students from other schools.

A face-to-face conversation with a college representative is often far more informative than the college information provided online, according to Gunn senior Ashley Kim.

“I wanted to get to see all the different colleges at once without having to visit them all.”

Junior Chloe Laursen

“You actually can talk to the people who have been to the college,” Kim said. “They can just talk to you about it and answer all your questions.”

A main attraction of the event was the in-person counsel, which many students value, along with the convenience of the fair.

“I wanted to get to see all the different colleges at once without having to visit them all [individually],” Paly junior Chloe Laursen said. “It was interesting hearing all the alumni talk about their colleges.”

Laursen described the fair as an overall interesting event, but also pointed out some downsides.

A face-to-face conversation with a college representative is often far more informative than the college information provided online.

“I thought it was a little crowded and hot, and I didn’t like waiting in lines,” Laursen said. “But I really liked some of the booths.”

Following the college fair Paly’s job fair which took place at the quad during lunch on Oct. 16.

Close to 20 employers had set up booths to inform students of their establishments and advertise available jobs. Booths ranged from opportunities such as the army to local food stores like The Melt and miscellaneous businesses like the Winter Lodge ice skating rink.

Matthew McCoy, a manager and 20-year employee at Winter Lodge, attended his first Paly job fair this year.

“I feel [the job fair] is a good place to come for new employees, because kids are looking for jobs,” McCoy said. “We are not very labor intensive, we are a fun place to work at [and] our schedule is pretty set, so if students have fluctuating schedules they know when work is.”

McCoy further explains why the business he is representing is a good fit for the Paly job fair.

“It is easier to adjust [your] schedule, as opposed to if you are working somewhere with a floating schedule and we don’t work during the summer,” McCoy said.

jobs,” McCoy said. “We are not very labor intensive, we are a fun place to work at [and] our schedule is pretty set, so if students have fluctuating schedules they know when work is.”

McCoy further explains why the business he is representing is a good fit for the Paly job fair.

“It is easier to adjust [your] schedule, as opposed to if you are working somewhere with a floating schedule and we don’t work during the summer,” McCoy said.

McCoy is one of many representatives who feel their offered occupation would be of interest to students.

Paly’s new Work Experience Teacher Coordinator, Theresa McDermott, decided to help coordinate the event this year due to her want to build relationships with the community, the school, businesses and nonprofits.

“I think that job fairs are a wonderful opportunity for students and employers to meet,” McDermott said. “It provides a great informal setting for students to ask questions of employers and to gain access to possible work and internship positions.”

Although at least one job fair a year is held at Paly, McDermott says they are working to have one in the fall as well as one in spring.

There will be another job fair at Gunn later this week and a job fair in March at both high schools.

Hundreds of students milled around the quad during lunch viewing prospective jobs they could apply for. 

The Paly job fair is a valuable event according to sophomore, Isabella Koutsoyannis.

“I was really trying to see what jobs I could apply to and all of the job opportunities are really great,” Koutsoyannis said. “It’s really helpful that Paly has this opportunity, because a lot of times you don’t know which jobs to apply to and it’s a very good resource.”

These two closely occurring events were both held for the purpose of students thinking towards their future and most students appreciated the provided opportunities, according to McDermott.

“The ideal is to provide students with opportunities to grow outside of the classroom,” McDermott said.

“A job fair is one way in which we can build those relationships.  Many of our students are interested in working and our local businesses are wanting to hire our students, so a job fair is a win-win opportunity.”

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