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College seniors explore non-profit sector

In the lounge area of Otterbein's Campus Center a handful of students mill around about 20 booths for potential employers. Agencies like Americorps, COSI, and other community based organizations try to promote opportunities with their companies.

"Feel free to take a keychain or some candy and we have two part-time positions that are open right now--paid positions."

Kristin Key and Chaleese Robertson have a booth with Lifecare Alliance, a non-profit home healthcare provider. They have a poster, handouts and what Robertson says is their key to recruiting.

"Candy," she said. "Candy and gifts."

Even though they tend of have lower profiles and offer lower salaries than big corporations, Robertson say non profits are not having trouble recruiting workers

"We get kinda an overabundance of applications," she said. "It's just trying to find the right candidate."

Otterbein students graduate June 15. During the next month, universities all over Ohio will hold commencements. Ohio State will graduate about 75 hundred students on June 8. And students are feeling the pressure to find jobs. Some are looking to non profits and their reasons differ. Lianne Simeone studies Communication at Otterbein and will graduate next month. She has worked in the non-profit sector before but she says she came to the career fair for a simple reason - to explore all of her options.

"I'm kinda freaking out cause I don't know what to do," she said.

Joe McDaniels is a Political Science and Psychology student. He says his friends are struggling with the job search so he's trying a different approach.

"Working in the non-profit sector for a year will give me some of that career experience that the jobs out there, the people who are hiring for the higher up position, the professional positions we all want, are looking for," he said. "And that seems to be the roadblock when you're coming out of college." br>

McDaniels says he's considering work as a legal aid before possibly entering law school. He says he wants to give back to the community, and, at his age, he says he's not concerned about the salary, which tends to be lower at a non-profit.

"I can afford to live at the poverty level for a year while later on in life that may not be the case so if I want to do this kind of work now is the time I have to do it," he said.