Students gathered in Stabler Arena on Sept. 13 for the 29th annual fall Career Expo, a large-scale networking event meant to connect students with potential employers.
Nick Praedin, the director of employer engagement at the Center for Career and Professional Development, said he noticed a greater diversity in the types of employers that attended the expo this year. However, he estimated that close to 95 percent of companies present at the fair were looking for students in the College of Business and Economics or the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science.
“We did see an increase in the number of companies that are looking to hire our students from (College of Arts and Sciences),” Praedin said. “There are many companies that we have interacted with recently that are accepting all majors, or for folks with a broader liberal arts background.”
He believes this increase is due to the new career search tool, Handshake.
“(Handshake) gives us so much more access to so many more employers that we wouldn’t have had access to in the past,” Praedin said.
Since students might not have the time to meet with members of the CCPD before the expo, Praedin said the center provides resources on Handshake that are available at any time.
Some of the resources provide guidance on how to write a cover letter, tips for networking and practice for interviewing.
“Leading up to career expos, we predominantly work with students on resume building and preparing to interact with companies,” Praedin said. “But throughout the year, it differs in what students come to talk to us about.”
The Career Center offers walk-in help in various elements of the job search each weekday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The CCPD offers additional preparation for career expos through its Career Expo Prep Express. The event gives students the chance to talk to employer representatives from various companies one week before each expo. Students can ask anything, from questions about the content of their resumes to the appropriateness of their attire.
While the CCPD provides many resources, it is ultimately up to students to utilize them. Claudia Cohen, ’19, an English major with minors in computer science, entrepreneurship and marketing, said she takes advantage of the CCPD’s offerings. She said she has attended workshops and stops by the CCPD’s office hours whenever she can.
“It’s really all that you make of it,” Cohen said. “Not only was I able to practice my networking skills, but I was also able to receive advice and even set up an interview.”
Cohen said students must also do their own research and identify other resources and organizations that can help them in their job search.
Alexis Maida, ’19, the vice president of the Finance Club, said the club offers many resources to students.
“First, we bring in employers from the field like Citibank and Prudential Financial to provide students with the opportunity to network with recruiters, hear about the internships they offer, and what they are looking for in candidates,” she said. “Also, we provide workshops in the different sectors of finance.”
Cohen said despite students’ best efforts, there are some factors that are out of their control.
“You can’t ever be fully prepared for the future,” Cohen said. “You just have to keep learning and seeking opportunities to put yourself in the best position possible.”