Relocation hot topic at UM-Tupelo career fair

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Thursday’s career fair at the Tupelo campus of the University of Mississippi had a better turnout this year than last year, according to some of the employers.
Fifteen employers, representing financial companies, retailers, schools and others, were at the fair. Many were hiring, but the jobs weren’t necessarily in Tupelo.
Lisa Harkey, manager of the Tupelo store of women’s apparel retailer Maurices, was looking for an associate manager to enter the training program.
She said she found a few candidates who “might be” interested, but the “have to be relocateable” part of the job weeds out many applicants.
“A lot of people say they are relocateable until they find out how far they would have to move,” Harkey said.
Myra Collins, the Tupelo-based outdoor program manager for the Girl Scouts, also was looking for people who would be willing to work away from Tupelo this summer.
She was trying to fill slots for summer camp counselors in Tennessee and other parts of Mississippi.
She said she had a “couple of candidates” from the fair.
Trae Bailey from Comcast’s Tupelo office did have a job opening in Tupelo. It was for direct sales and would require door-to-door cable sales.
“I spoke to a few people,” he said. “Most were not specifically interested in that. But if they were willing to relocate, there are numerous careers.”
He said many of attendees he talked with were looking for administrative jobs.
Sara Hart Fellows, a project administrator with UM-Tupelo, said many of the attendees throughout the three-hour event were education and finance students.
Brittany Womack and Jessica Trotter were two such students. The education majors graduate in December and went to the career fair hoping to get their foot in the door and maybe even get a lead on a job.
“We didn’t find anyone hiring, unfortunately,” Womack said. “We’re still going to be positive about it.”
Because of the job market, Trotter, an elementary education major, is looking to go into a master’s program for the next year.
“Maybe it will be better by then,” she said.

Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@djournal.com.