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NDSU career fair called a success

North Dakota State University mechanical engineering student Adam Graf talks with Mark Sonstelie of VEi Global during the NDSU spring career fair Wednesday. (David Samson/The Forum)

FARGO - Turnout for Wednesday's spring career fair at North Dakota State University wasn't a record, but organizers considered it a strong showing.

About 130 companies attended the fair at the Fargodome, compared to last year's record turnout of 173 businesses.

"Given this labor market, I think that's terrific," said Jill Wilkey, NDSU Career Center director.

About a dozen more companies planned to attend, but weather prevented them from traveling.

Most of the companies at the fair had internships and jobs available, while others attended the fair to maintain visibility, Wilkey said.

NDSU senior Adam Graf said many recruiters told him they're not hiring now, but they may be soon.

"The economy's bad, so a lot of companies - they're looking but not really," said Graf, a mechanical engineering major.

About 1,500 students attended the fair. Students from other North Dakota and western Minnesota universities were invited as well.

NDSU accounting major Yanfei Liu said she expects it will be harder this year to find an internship.

Liu, a junior, said she talked to six or seven recruiters and two said they were hiring interns.

Wilkey said she tells students not to get discouraged about the market and to focus on developing their skills.

"Learn how to job search," Wilkey said. "That's going to be the key in finding a good internship or a good job when you graduate."