The University hosted employers and students for their Spring Career Fair on Feb. 5-6. On Tuesday, employers invited Arts and Business majors, while on Wednesday employers met with Science, Engineering and Technology students.
According to Marissa Foy, assistant account executive for Gregory FCA ,which participated in the Career Fair this year, such events provide opportunities for both employers and students.
“We’re excited to meet new talent and find potential colleagues among the students,” Foy said.
“We hope to find young professionals that will contribute to our team’s goals. For the students, it’s a great chance to get their feet wet in the job search, begin to network and get some face-time with professionals in their intended field.”
Overall, nearly 1,000 students came dressed to impress to participate in the event. Sheila Doherty, the assistant director of student services at the Career Center, was very pleased with the turnout, saying that it was a 35 percent increase from last year’s Career Fair.
“One reason for the increase was the diverse employers we had been able to secure,” Doherty said.
“The number of employers has dramatically increased and we also have been proactively going after very diverse organizations and not spending as much time on the mainstream finance companies. That really seemed to draw the students’ interest.”
Sheila said that much more collaboration with the administration in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences also increased traffic numbers.
“The School of Arts and Sciences has been working hard to promote Career Center opportunities,” Doherty said. “They want their Arts and Science students to recognize that this indeed is a Fair for them and not just students in the business and engineering fields.”
That diversity was evident as students found themselves surrounded by companies coming from a variety of industries, such as fashion, accounting, finance/banking, education, defense and telecommunication. Students were able to interact with employees working for Johnson & Johnson, Six Flags, Lilly Pulitzer, Teach for America and many other organizations.
The most popular topic brought up between students and employers was internship availability. Resumes in hand, the majority of students who attended the fair engaged in conversations with different organizations about internship opportunities and the qualifications that students needed to be considered for these positions. Foy said there were several crucial things students needed to do as a means to be prepared for the Fair and to make a lasting impression on companies.
“We expect students to present themselves professionally,” said Foy. “It’s important that you’ve conducted some research on our firm, too. The students should engage with us and be prepared to tell us why they were interested in speaking with us. We should feel like we want to reciprocate that interest in them.”
It was evident in the Villanova Room this week that students understood what qualities employers desired, as they flooded the Fair ready to communicate and form relationships with them.
“We were extremely happy with how the students came prepared and ready to take part in this amazing event,” Doherty said.
“It is what makes these events continue to improve, and lets us know that we are on the right track.”