The 2013 Job and Internship Fair, held last Thursday and Friday in Paresky, featured more than 50 non-profit organizations and private businesses. Reaching a record number of potential employers, the fair provided a lively and casual environment for students to network with representatives of various private and government-owned corporations.
“We have been hosting an annual job and internship fair for eight years as a way for employers and students to meet in an informal setting for information sharing and career exploration,” John Noble, director of the Career Center, said. “Our hope is that all students, not just seniors, would visit the fair to learn about a variety of career options, not to mention that many of the organizations have internships available for underclassmen.” While the fair certainly is a valuable chance for upperclassmen to apply for jobs, the encouraging dynamics in both the student and the employer atmospheres in recent years have resulted in an increasing number of underclassmen showing their interests as well.
For most of the College’s history, the fair has focused on careers in the private sector. Starting last year, however, an extra day dedicated to nonprofits, schools and government agencies has allowed students interested in areas outside of the private sector to find many new opportunities as well. Representatives of organizations such as the FBI or the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program set up their booths on the first day of the fair to discuss their goals and general guidelines about the application process with students. Firms including Trinity Partners and JP Morgan arrived on campus the second day to represent the interests of both small and large private companies.
The main interactions during the fair itself included basic introductions, one-on-one Q-and-A sessions exchanges of contact information and often resume exchanges. Afterward, the College’s online Route 2 program allowed students to submit the standard cover letters, writing samples and resumes for review. Included among the myriad of enticing offers were Winter Study internships, summer internships and full-time jobs.
More than 260 students went to the fair on Thursday, and more than 300 students attended on Friday. The approximately equal number of interested attendants over the span of the two days suggests that indeed the addition of the extra day for nonprofits and public interests has been beneficial to many students. “I thought splitting the job fair helped me become more aware of career opportunities beyond those in consulting and finance,” Chris Weihs ’15 said. “The Thursday fair was a more relaxed atmosphere that exposed me to some equally rewarding careers outside of the private sector. Since some of the more renowned private corporations often dominate our attention, it was useful to highlight some non-profit organizations by splitting up the days.”
Nevertheless, to ensure that both the company representatives and the students could interact in such a streamlined fashion, “the fair [required] the efforts of [the] entire staff led and organized by Kristen McCormack [assistant director for recruiting],” Noble said. With the thorough planning of the Career Center, the fair reached a new level of success this year. The interests of potential employers and the students have consistently coincided, making the College’s Job and Internship Fair a well-attended event since its inception.