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Career Fair Expo packs Joyce Center

Megan Hemler | Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thousands of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students and alumni, along with representatives from more than 150 companies, packed into the Joyce Center Fieldhouse Wednesday night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the annual Fall Career Expo.

In a change from last year, the Fall Career Expo and the annual Engineering Day career fair were combined into one event that was open to students of all majors.

While the recession has certainly impacted hiring practices, Associate Director for Alumni Career Programs Kevin Monahan said the job prospects have improved from last year.

“Investment banks last year came just for interns – this year it’s for full-time positions and interns, so there are some positive signs,” he said.

The Career Expo allowed students to meet with prospective employers and form networking connections in hopes of landing either an internship or full-time position.

The Career Center held a number of resume review sessions and mock interviews with students prior in the weeks leading up the Expo.

“Workshop attendance has been greater at the Career Center,” said Laura Flynn, assistant director for the Colleges of Engineering and Science. “Students tend to be taking action sooner.”

Flynn also said one of the most important things she tells students is to “manage their expectations, due to the economic recession.”

Monahan said that while employers are still coming to the Career Expo, “Nobody walks out with a job or internship in hand, but face to face time still counts in recruiting.”

When asked about the options for non-business majors at the Fall Career Expo, Mr. Monahan said, “There are opportunities in marketing, teaching programs, and government agencies.”

Senior biology major Mary Bruels said, “This is the first time I’ve been here, so it’s a little overwhelming, but I’m hoping I’ll have some luck out of it.”

When asked about his experience at the Fall Expo, senior Political Science major Aidan Gillespie said, “I’m really interested in post-graduate service, so I visited MatchCorps and Teach for America.”

Brittany Rose, a senior accounting major, said she “didn’t have time to visit everyone I wanted to because of the long lines, but I did get to meet with some people I didn’t expect.”

The Career Center also held a debriefing session for students at 10 p.m. in Flanner Hall to focus on interview preparation.