Keoni Martin, a fourth year public health student, asks Martin Moreno, the Director of HR at Waikiki Health about what career opportunities await him in public health.
Keoni Martin, a fourth year public health student, asks Martin Moreno, the Director of HR at Waikiki Health about what career opportunities await him in public health.
McKenzie Kurosu

Beyond a job: UH fair offers careers

The University of Hawaiʻi hosted its Fall 2023 career fair in the Campus Center Ballroom on Thursday, with more than 30 employers and companies participating

Students had a chance to talk directly to employers and discover possible job opportunities Thursday at Campus Center, as a part of a career fair that focused on sharing educational requirements and other qualities employers are looking for when selecting candidates. 

For public health student Keoni Martin, for example, visiting companies such as Queen’s Health System, Waikiki Health and Hawaiʻi Pacific Health helped him better understand their missions. 

Martin said he values a company, like Hawaii Pacific Health, because of its mission to create a healthier Hawaiʻi. 

“I want to be able to go into an organization such as theirs to help them with their mission and vision to make their values come to life,” Martin said. 

Other employers ranged from private financial companies, such as Northwestern Mutual, to federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Park Service. 

“It’d be great if we could hire” people at this fair, said Sally Martinez, a representative for the National Parks Service. “We have two student positions coming up, and we’ll employ them part-time, then be able to convert them to a full-time position after graduation,” 

Megan Fonoti, a foundation facilities and maintenance manager at Bayer, advised students that there are sometimes more opportunities that they don’t see. She encouraged them to have conversations with companies to widen career opportunities. 

“You might find out that it’s actually very well suited for you,” Fonoti said, “or it’s a good way to gain some more skills to then move onto a position that you are more interested in.”

The event also showcased numerous state and local agencies looking for college students to fill internships and entry-level positions. These agencies included the Hawaiʻi Office of Elections, the Hawaii Public Housing Authority, and the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Auliʻi Tenn, an employee for the Office of Elections, said she and her department are looking to hire students from a variety of educational backgrounds.

“We’re looking for accounting specialists, logistical workers, ballot counters, and business administrators,” Tenn said. “We want to bring students in from everywhere and we’re always looking to hire.”

Maria Sangga, a third-year finance and human resources management student, was attracted to companies that possess specific qualities. In Sangga’s case, she said she tends to gravitate toward companies that value and recognize an opportunity for her potential growth. 

“One of the qualities is just growing as a person,” Sangga said. “I’m going be a student that’s coming out of college, so I don’t have that experience … I want to grow within my field, as a person, or eventually go up the ladder and climb onto the top.”

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