Judging from the number of students crowding the halls of the Wehner Building, it must be time for the bi-annual Business Career Fair. Sponsored by the Business Student Council, the fair provided recruiting and networking opportunities between students and recruiters.

While the event did encourage career networking, the impact of the current economic downturn could be felt. “Most of the companies I talked to told me to come back next semester,” says Ben Scoggin, a senior finance major. “I can tell a definite difference in the recruiting process from last year. It’s still strong, but since the economy is somewhat down right now, businesses are a lot less likely to hire.”

It’s true that this year’s fair did have slightly fewer companies in attendance. Adam Hankins, Business Student Council vice president of Career Fair and senior accounting major, says the number of businesses represented dropped to 140 this fall, compared to last year’s 160-plus. Five to 10 companies also cancelled after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Yet the fair still proved to be a success giving students opportunities to network with potential employers. It drew students from other A&M departments and colleges as well as from surrounding universities.

Students shouldn’t get discouraged recruiters say. Companies haven’t stopped hiring, it simply comes down to who wants the job more. “We’re just looking for personable, goal-oriented students. Their major often means far less to employers than their personal qualities and credentials,” explains one recruiter from Wells Fargo. “If students really want a job, they should just remember to be assertive. When you have this many students with a limited number of businesses, only the extremely aggressive candidates will survive.”