JMHS Students Attend Job Fair

Sixty representatives from colleges, employers and military branches came to consult with students Friday at John Marshall High School about options for their future.

During the Marshall County College and Career Fair, local colleges and universities such as West Liberty University, Wheeling Jesuit University and West Virginia University were joined by many out-of-state colleges, as well as representatives from each branch of the U.S. military and those offering options for those interested in seeking employment directly after graduation.

Counselor Marilyn Wehrheim said this year’s event, the 22nd one held at the school, was made available to underclassmen for the first time, allowing students to form a plan for their education early.

“This is the first year we included freshmen, which gives them the opportunity to start their college search,” Wehrheim said. “I’m excited that the schools who showed up to participate came. Most tables had action, and had a lot of students filling out cards for information. I want to make sure it’s worthwhile for these reps to come and participate. … Our out-of-state schools were getting just as much action as in-state.”

Senior Shaun Hancher said the career fair he attended last year helped solidify his decision to attend WVU by providing critical assistance in securing financial aid.

“I talked with the people at WVU, and they were discussing with me, financial aid and what I need to be in the music program, and that’s what I needed,” Hancher said. “I think it’s very important for students to come to this fair, because it’s very important to see what majors colleges have, and what they have to offer for them.”

WorkForce West Virginia was also on site to provide contact information to students interested in pursuing internships or other employment. Wehrheim said John Marshall would like to increase representation in this area in future years.

West Liberty University Admissions Counselor Rhonda Tysk said allowing prospective students the chance to ask questions when when searching for their future careers was a crucial part of the fair, especially when the effects of their choice will linger for years afterward.

“It’s not too early, as a freshman, to start gathering information and exploring opportunities that colleges have to offer,” Tysk said. “Everybody has different interests — whether it’s a small college or a large university. … Whether they should be concentrating on their grades, the ACT/SAT scores when the time comes, or planning visits — those are all important messages we can give. It can be really overwhelming. They have to think, not only do I have to pick what I want to do for the rest of my life, but how am I going to pay to go, so we can provide them information on financial aid.”