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Students attend Career Expo

Nicole Toczauer | Thursday, September 9, 2010

Abbey Coons remembers attending Notre Dame’s Career Expo in 2003, where she secured an internship for General Electric (GE). Now, she’s back as a recruiter looking for students with initiative and experience.

“I think companies like GE specifically like Notre Dame’s work ethic and integrity,” she said. “It really meshes with company values.”

Nearly 1,800 students attended the Fall Career Fair Wednesday at the Joyce Athletics and Convocation Center to scout out summer internships and post-graduate jobs from 140 companies — just as Coons once did.

To prepare for the Career Fair, many students took advantage of the services at the Career Center in Flanner Hall.

“There have been many students even early in the year,” said Laura Flynn, assistant director at the Career Center. “It’s been a busy couple of weeks.”

Junior Amy Holsinger worked with the Career Center to prepare her résumé.

“I feel like I’ve been living in Flanner the past few weeks,” she said. “The résumé review has been amazing.”

But even with preparation, standing out in a sea of accomplished, suit-clad students isn’t easy.

“I did an internship before, but I know it’s hard for most people to get one,” senior Caitlin Foster said.

Flynn said students of a variety of ages were expected to attend the Career Fair.

“We definitely expect the seniors to be looking for jobs, and the sophomores and juniors for internships,” she said.

This dedication and enthusiasm for finding a job doesn’t go unnoticed by potential employers.

“They’ve really provided a new high standard,” said Dian Flittner of Sentry Insurance.

Laurie Bryne, representing the medical equipment manufacturer Stryker, said the company plans to recruit Notre Dame students heavily.  

“We elevated the status of Notre Dame in 2008 as a core school, which is a school that Stryker has determined to partner with to recruit for the entire company,” said Byrne, the company’s associate director of staffing and talent sourcing.  

Though many students hope to obtain an interview as a result of the Career Fair, Kevin Monahan, associate director of the Career Center, said attending the Career Expo doesn’t necessarily have to be part of a detailed strategy for finding a career.

Instead, it can provide the students with the chance to get their names into the opening market, he said.

“Career Expos are about getting information from employers and making a good impression,” he said. “The economy is still a little tight, but things are definitely looking up for employment.”

Still, many students hope the Career Expo will lead to success stories like that of Coons, who expects companies to continue considering Notre Dame students as strong candidates.

“I received an internship with GE through the same recruiting process in 2003 and have been with them ever since,” she said.