Saturday, February 16, 2008

NOT a “romantic” ramble.

Rather, more of an HR ramble. Yeah, I know – as my daughters used to say when they were teenagers, “BOR-R-R-ing!) But, that’s what you get today.

Ever been to a college career fair? No? Well, let me tell you about them.

Four weeks ago I drove (along with two other managers from my plant) to College Station, TX to the Texas A&M College of Engineering career fair. One of those managers is an A&M alumnus, better known as an “Aggie.” But I’ll skip the Aggie jokes for now.

We set up in the basketball arena on the ground floor – actually at court level. Our “booth” was ten feet wide with an 8-foot high curtain across the back and two 3-foot high curtains extending out from that back wall towards the wide aisle. We had a skirted table and two chairs.

We hung a banner with our company name printed on it across the back near the top of the curtain, pushed the table over to one side (running parallel to the side of the booth), and set up our displays and handouts on the table.

The best part of our display was a 32-inch flat-panel TV running a PowerPoint slide show of pictures of our plant, our product, local cultural and sports activities, pictures of local wildlife, and so on. (I didn’t want it to just be all work-oriented. I wanted to “sell” quality-of-life and recreation opportunities as well.) The next-best part was actual laboratory glassware (sealed) containing our feedstock (oil), our byproducts (liquids), and our main, solid product. The TV would catch people’s eye, and they’d step closer to see the samples.

The object of all this was to get resumes from students who wanted internships, co-op positions, or full time employment (after graduation). We’re trying to hire engineers. I was out of the office for two days.

The following week I drove all the way to Stillwater, OK, to the Oklahoma State University career fair. One of our managers is an OSU grad. It took a full day of driving to get there, a full day at the career fair, and a full day to drive home. I was out of the office for three days.

Then two weeks ago I drove to Winter Park, CO, for our annual family ski trip. That’ll be the subject of another post. I was out of the office all week.

And finally last week I left on Tuesday morning to drive 9½ hours to Lubbock to attend the Texas Tech University engineering career fair (all day Wednesday), and drove back on Thursday. I was out of the office for three days.

My point? During the last four weeks I have only been in the office a total of 7 days. And this time is especially busy for several reasons (which may be the subject of another future post.) So those seven days I’ve spent at the office have been 10-12 hour days, not my normal 8½-9 hour ones. Yesterday was a full 12 hours, including hosting a candidate for a management job for interviews, plant tour, and so on.

The good news is: I now have a stack of over 100 student’s and recent-graduates’ resumes to sort through for more interviews or possible job offers. The bad news is: I have to find time to sort through them. Then I have to follow up and communicate with most of those folks who are waiting for some word. Few people realize how time-consuming the recruiting process is if you want to do it professionally and with an individualized approach.

So no, I haven’t been writing or blogging. In fact, I haven’t had much of a life (other than the ski trip!) for a while.

Yeah, that‘s a sorry excuse for bad blogging. But right now it’s the only excuse I’ve got.


kenju said...

I must have know subconsciously that you were going to post. For some odd reason, you popped into my head while I was getting a massage today. I thought to myself that you hadn't posted in a long time and I wondered if you were okay. Also, I had read earlier on someone's blog about going to a book fair and I thought of you then too.

You have sure been gone a lot. Is Carol mad - or glad? LOL

Duke_of_Earle said...


Yes, I was channeling to you as I wrote the post. I had just read Badabing's last few posts when he wrote of you, and that must have triggered your subconscious to think of me. Or something.

Carol has NOT been happy with my travels, but neither has she volunteered to go along with me. After all, those were not exactly sightseeing destinations... and she hates to shop. (Aren't I the lucky one!?)


kenju said...

Thanks for prompting me to come and see your reply. Isn't it both odd and wonderful how often we come to think of people we have never met, but feel as if we have?

Karyn Lyndon said...

Sorry...but the ski-trip thing makes it really hard to feel too bad for you...cry me a snowy river...