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  • Writer's pictureKAIT BEDELL

Career Fair bounces back with strong turnout


Reebok representative tables a the Career Fair looking for prospective employees. Photo courtesy of Harley LaCardo

After experiencing a postponement in early February due to a snowstorm, the annual Career Fair had a strong turnout during the makeup date in DeWitt Hall, hosting about 28 employees.  


Assistant Director, Center for Career Readiness Jessica Orlando said that she was happy with the way the event went and that it had a great turnout.  


“I thought it was really good,” Orlando said. “It was loud in there, there was a lot of really good conversation going on, so I was really happy to see that.”  


Orlando said that this year, the student involvement seemed different than in years past, as individuals seemed to spend more time engaging with each table.  


“...The students who attended stayed longer than I’ve sort of experienced in the past,” Orlando said. “Sometimes students will come in, they’ll do a quick loop, maybe talk with one or two people and head out. But truly, the students who showed up this year chatted with multiple tables. They were there for an extended period of time,” Orlando said.  


Senior communications student Lisa Ortiz was also happy with the event and enjoyed talking with each of the tables.  


“I think it was a great opportunity to boost my networking skills. I tried to talk to everyone there, gave out a few resumes, and shared my LinkedIn,” Ortiz said. “Not every table was hiring for something under my field, but I did advocate for the work I do to show I can be a useful asset to their companies.”  


Orlando also said that the event is a great way for students to build their networking skills, which is crucial throughout the job search process.  


“At the end of the day, a career fair is a networking event and networking is so crucial to finding a job and internship,” Orlando said. “You can browse the job boards all day, every day and apply and apply...but ultimately you need to be speaking with people.”  


Students speak to prospective employers during the Career Fair which took place in the DeWitt Hall on Feb. 27. Photo courtesy of Harley LaCardo

Orlando said she knows networking can be difficult and scary for a lot of people, she said that the activities fair is a good place to practice these skills and get used to speaking with people. 


“For me, someone who’s more introverted and just sort of, I don’t necessarily love networking, but knowing that it is one of the most important parts to the job search is essential and also you’re not alone, right? Like especially going to a career fair,” Orlando said. 


As someone who understands how intimidating it can be to talk to new people, Orlando said she encourages students to go to the fair knowing who they want to talk to, and that she is also always offering support at the event to students who do not know where to start. 


“You may feel nervous about starting a conversation with an employer, but they’re there for you, like that is the sole purpose of them being there is to meet you,” Orlando said. “Sure you might feel a little bit nervous, but they’re people too and they have been through this as well.”  


Orlando said that she hopes students continue to take advantage of the opportunity to practice networking skills, and that she is always looking for ways to improve the experience for them in the future. 


“I was happy with how the event went, but also learned a few things along the way and so I’m starting to sort of think about a few things that I could do differently for next year because we’re still planning to have the annual career fair,” Orlando said.  

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