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Students network at Winter Career Fair

Lisa Slomka | Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Armed with crisp résumés, snappy suits and firm handshakes, hundreds of students descended on the Joyce Center Field House Wednesday to speak with recruiters from 130 companies at the Winter Career and Internship Fair.

Students from all colleges and majors were invited to explore summer job opportunities and career options spanning several industries, from accounting and marketing to engineering and health care.

Senior marketing major Emma Higgins said the fair provided opportunities for students to network with companies they are interested in working for.

“The fair is a great way to talk to people who have already had internships and to get your name out there,” Higgins said. “Advertising doesn’t hire until they have a need. Typically you won’t know if you have a job until July. I want to go into advertising though, so I’m looking at those firms.”

Like many other Career Fair attendees, senior marketing major Lindsey Downs said she took time to prepare for the fair prior to speaking with companies she was interested in.

“I researched the different companies that would be present and what jobs they offered,” Downs said.

Senior marketing major Chrissy Carson said she used campus resources to prepare for the fair.

“I had my résumé looked over and printed out some business cards,” she said.

Students with career goals outside the traditional corporate world were able to speak with companies in specific industries. Sophomore science major Elizabeth Leonard said she came to the fair in search of a position in a health-related industry.

“This is the first career fair I’ve been to. I’m looking for an internship from either Cardinal Health, Stryker or Healthscope,” Leonard said.

Although he began applying for positions with several advertising firms prior to the fair, junior marketing major Tom Temmerman wanted to speak with a few of the firms he applied to in person.

“I have already applied to [advertising] firms. One that I’m interested in is Leo Burnett, and today I’m hoping to talk to them directly,” he said.

Temmerman said he thinks the Career Fair provides Notre Dame students the chance to make valuable connections that may lead to interviews and eventually job offers.

“I know some people who’ve been asked for an interview and then have a job the next day,” Temmerman said.

Senior Accountancy and Spanish major Anna delCastillo came to the fair in search of a job with one of the “Big 4” accounting firms.

“I’m looking at jobs with Ernst & Young, Deloitte, PWC and KPMG,” delCastillo said. “I’m staying for a fifth year [master’s] in Accountancy, so I’m trying to get a feel for the job market.”

Alumni presenters and PricewaterhouseCoopers employees Chris Cugliari and Lauren Wickel are proof of the career fairs’ success in placing students in employment opportunities after graduation. They both obtained interviews for their current positions by attending Notre Dame career fairs like this one.

Cugliari said he attended every Notre Dame career fair since the spring of his sophomore year, and Wickel said she spoke with employers at the fair during her junior spring semester and senior fall semester.

Sophomore Civil Engineering and Spanish major Emily Palmer said the career fairs have given her the skills to put her best foot forward in the often overwhelming job market.

“[The fairs] are pretty helpful. You learn how to talk both to interviewers and in the work place and how to articulate yourself well,” she said.

Sophomore Jennifer Loconsole, who is studying the same fields as Palmer, said she has become more comfortable in what to do at the fairs.

“The first one I went to, I learned that I wasn’t really good at it,” she said. “Now I’m less nervous and know more about what to say and do, and I should get better each fair I go to.”