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International career fair encourages networking

Carly Landon | Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The International Career Night is about networking for careers abroad, Holly Rivers, assistant director of the Kellogg Institute, said.

The career fair, which focused on jobs in Africa, Asia and Latin America, occurred Monday night at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

This year’s fair is the first the Institute has held in several years.

“Shannon Coyne and Stephanie Mulhern are two seniors in the Kellogg Institute programs, and a few months ago they basically came to me and asked if we could do this fair again this year,” Rivers said. “They sat down with me and decided the topics of speeches. If they hadn’t asked me, we wouldn’t be doing it.”

This year the fair focused more on introducing students to types of jobs and introducing them to people in international business rather than actually attempting to place them in job positions.

“We aren’t giving students jobs,” she said. “What we are doing is providing students with people and speakers who have experience and will talk about it to give students guidance in choosing international careers.”

Rivers said the aim of the event is to provide networking opportunities.

“The goal is for students to make contacts that they will then follow up with and continue the conversation. They shouldn’t be done after this evening,” Rivers said.

International careers can be in the United States or actually abroad. Many of the students and faculty at the event had their own ideas of what made a career international.

“Any career in which your decisions and your actions either directly or indirectly influence people in other countries is what I think is an international career,” senior John Villecco said. “I guess you could say that when you’re actively aware of the implications of your actions on other countries and change your thoughts based on it, that’s an international career.”

Students said the fair was a great experience and guiding tool for their endeavors.

“I’ve spent a significant amount of time abroad, and I’m just fascinated by other cultures,” junior Hilary Kelly said. “I’ve gotten a lot of tips on how to network and find contacts, and lots of info on what to do and how to prepare.”

Rivers said the fair gave students the opportunity to see what skill sets are needed in international careers.

“The Kellogg Center created the event to give student the opportunity to see how international careers can help them use languages, academic skills and experience in a career setting,” Rivers said.