Sara Istre enjoys the Colorado outdoors with her family. Photo courtesy Sara Istre
Sara Istre, event and program coordinator, has been a State Classified employee at the CSU Career Center for two years. In Fall 2020, she brainstormed, planned, and executed CSU’s first Virtual Career Fair.
Istre worked collaboratively with campus partners, including the College of Business’s Career Management Center, to recruit employers and coordinate with representatives from Handshake, a platform that connects students with internships and jobs. Additionally, she prepared staff through implementation of a practice career fair and an informational session for all to attend.
The Fall 2020 event was the first of many at institutions across the country. Istre used Handshake, which was new to hosting career fairs virtually, and tapped into her connections to provide a space for connection and professional growth. She truly did more with less – all accomplished in a time of uncertainty and economic hardship. In the end, over 135 employers and 920 students participated in group and one-on-one sessions across two days.
Due to her efforts, it was double the number of employer attendance compared to the Big Ten universities’s combined career fair, allowing CSU to leave a mark in this work across the nation. The success Istre and Brittany Koonce, her counterpart in the College of Business, had was further highlighted when Handshake tapped them to provide best practices to share with other universities across the nation in an email campaign.
Istre recently organized campus partners for another Virtual Career Fair event, this time including a day specifically for the College of Engineering.
When asked about her position, Istre expressed her appreciation for the tight-knit community at the Career Center, as well as the flexibility to focus her work on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Her colleagues said she models how to infuse this important work in every aspect of her job. Within the center, she serves on the Accountability and Sustainability Committee, actively supporting DEI efforts, and leads optional committee engagements, such as a book club focused on DEI readings. Istre also plays an active role with the Dreamers United student group on campus, advocating for and pushing efforts to provide support to undocumented students at CSU.
The Career Center points to her ability to be driven while honoring and supporting work-life integration. Istre regularly acknowledges and appreciates student staff in the office and encourages time to get together in a casual manner – virtually now because of the pandemic, and in-person prior. She is consistently the person who plans baby showers or birthday celebrations, making sure to highlight special moments in peoples’ lives. Istre commented that she “can’t wait to have everyone back on campus and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the Lory Student Center, filled with students.”
When not at work, Istre enjoys spending her free time with her family, especially outdoors. Born and raised in Colorado, Istre said rafting, snowboarding, camping and hiking are a few of her favorite activities. She loves baking sweet goodies, which pairs well with her workouts to help burn off the calories.
The Career Center recognizes the contributions Istre makes to CSU as a State Classified employee and as a crucial member of their team. More than deserving of this recognition, she exemplifies hard work, dedication, and the sincerest form of kindness and care. She is the shining star of their office and an asset to CSU.
Nominate a State Classified individual or group for a “Day in the Life” feature on the CPC website.