Over 200 students, Alumni and community members attended the annual Career Fair, hosted by SIFE club and the Career Center on Wednesday.
Director of the Center for Career Development Jim Allison said that this was the first year they intentionally marketed to other schools and the local community. He also said this is the first year the Career Fair was open to graduate and professional schools, and unlike many other Career Fairs, they shuttled vendors and attendees from the parking lots to the front door of Cain Gymnasium.
Despite the economy, about 53 employers and vendors, including the Central Intelligence Agency, Wells Fargo, PNC Bank, University of Maryland School of Nursing, the Peace Corps and St. John’s College attended the event.
“Multiple offices on campus come together to put the event in place,” said Allison. He said there is a 12-month planning process for the event.
“The feedback from the students [about the Career Fair] has been great. We’d love to hear feedback and suggestions,” said SIFE President senior Megan Jaison when asked if the event was successful.
“I thought that it was great for a school our size, but it seemed very geared toward business majors and people interested in grad school. But it seemed really successful- there were a lot of people there. I got really good stuff about grad school, so I found it beneficial,” said senior Becky Streaker.
Junior Caroline Grier said, “Compared to last year, there were fewer internship opportunities, but that is probably due to the economy. It was still beneficial to network with different vendors.”
Allison said that students presented themselves as well if not better than students at other Career Fairs.
“Our students are some of the most well prepared [the vendors] have encountered, especially with dress,” said Allison.
SIFE helped prepare students for the fair with their career expo, said Allison, and the Career Center made handouts and sent emails concerning appropriate dress.
Allison said for next year, he’d like for there to be a separate event in the fall for Graduate schools and have the Career Fair just be employers. He also said he’d like to use the money collected from vendor fees to go towards the budget for next years Career Fair instead of just going into the overall Career Center budget. He would use this money to go towards improving the food, flowers and other subtle enhancements at next year’s event.
“We’d like to continue to charge employers to get money from the event to improve the event,” Allison said.
Jaison said for next year, she’d like more students to come forward with connections they have so there can be as many vendors as possible.
Allison urges that students, especially juniors, need to communicate with the Career Center and utilize such things as major assessment and job or graduate school exploration in addition to going to events like the Career Fair.
“People who don’t go to our office tend to struggle,” said Allison.
“Thanks to everyone who came out and helped,” said Jaison. “It wouldn’t have been successful without you!”