By JEN RETTER ’16
Photography PEDRO LEAL ’13
Tables scattered with pamphlets, business cards and souvenirs filled the Commons Great Room on Oct 23. Dressed to impress, students arrived at the Internship and Career Fair hoping to discover interesting occupations and possibly meet a future employer. “We’ve had more students come prepared with resumes and professional attire than previous semesters,” said Interim Director of Career Education Stephenie Wilson.
The goal of the event was to give every student, whether a freshman or graduate student, the opportunity to secure a job or internship. Wilson added, “If not [a job or internship], then a connection with an organization that could lead to a future job.”
The Internship and Career Fair did not only open up job possibilities, but it allowed students to develop their networking skills by pushing them to work on effective, professional communication. “I really hope that students get the opportunity to practice networking and meet employers that can get them internships or full time jobs in [that student’s] major,” said Employer Relations Coordinator Cynthia Nichols.
In order to find employers and jobs that encompassed every major that Arcadia offers, the Career Education Office had to meticulously select the companies that would be represented. “We focus on the fact that we can only house 30 employers, but we have over 80 majors,” said Nichols. The result: representatives from organizations ranging from Radio Disney to Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Because such a wide variety of students were invited to this event, what attracted the attendees differed for each individual. “I’m a senior just getting ready to graduate, and I wanted to see what’s out there,” said Amanda Bruck ’12, a Communications major who’s thinking of applying to grad school.
Others, such as Emma Hickey ’14, were drawn to the opportunity to practice being in a professional work environment. “[I was influenced by] how bad the economy and the job prospect for graduates are. I also want some professional experience before I graduate.”
While many juniors and seniors took advantage of the event, freshmen and sophomores found the information provided to be just as beneficial. Mike Kimmel ’16, whose interest in the FBI led him to the Internship and Career Fair, said, “I wanted to get my name out there. It was really informative. Now, I know a lot more from the FBI agent who took all of my questions.”
Several companies proved to be just as enthusiastic as the students who approached their tables. Bruck said that City Year, an education-focused organization that was accepting resumes from all majors, “really knew what they were talking about and provided a lot of information.”
In addition, Hickey felt that the professionalism that characterized the representatives gave her a taste of what the work world is truly like. “[The Internship and Career Fair] helped me to practice being in a professional work environment, even if they’re not our future employers,” she said.
While many of the students had an idea of what they wanted to do with their careers before attending the event, they were still exposed to opportunities that could impact their futures. “This helped me learn about jobs in my field that I didn’t even know existed,” said Hickey, an International Studies major.
The Internship and Career Fair was ultimately able to accomplish the Career Education Office’s goal: It built bridges between motivated students and prospective employers. “I’d say it was pretty successful. There were a lot of people here talking, and a lot of connections being made,” said Bruck.