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Winter Career Fair to introduce students to employers

| Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Notre Dame Career Center will host its annual Winter Career and Internship Fair on Wednesday afternoon on the seventh and eighth floors of the Duncan Student Center. The fair features representatives from hundreds of companies from across the country.

LoriAnn Edinborough, director of employer engagement at the Career Center, explained that the main purpose of the fair is to provide an “opportunity for employers and students to meet face to face.”

The fair is a unique chance for employers to share information about their organization and discuss employment opportunities, Edinborough said. Likewise, she added, it allows students to familiarize themselves with the businesses they’re interested in.

Ann Curtis | The Observer

A student talks with a recruiter at the 2017 Fall Career Fair. The 2018 event will take place Wednesday in the Duncan Student Center and will feature a wide range of employers from various different sectors.

Julie Gray, associate director of operations and event services at the Career Center, noted that the fair also offers students a chance to build rapport with businesses, as well as offering students an additional opportunity to interact with these companies in a casual, low-pressure environment, she added.

Ryan Willerton, associate vice president of career and professional development, believes the career fair’s new location in the Duncan Student Center will provide a more hospitable experience to its visitors. In addition to its other amenities, the student center houses the Career Center on the fifth floor. For Willerton, this feature will showcase students’ “holistic development.”

The Career Center will provide employers with tours of the student center throughout the day, Willerton said.

Edinborough said she recommends that all students attend the fair, even if they are not currently seeking employment opportunities.

Kate Cover, events manager at the Career Center, added that while upperclassmen will benefit from the exposure to recruiters, freshmen will also find the event worthwhile because they can gain valuable experience engaging with employers.

Willerton believes that exploration plays a central role in the career development process.

“There is no better exploratory activity than seeing a variety of organizations, within a short period of time, within one facility,” Willerton said.

There are opportunities for students of all grade levels, Edinborough said.

“[From] first years to seniors, there’s something there for everybody,” she said.

To prepare for the fair, Gray said students should consult “Go IRISH”, a database hosting information about jobs and internships available for Notre Dame students. There, students can find useful information about the fair, including what companies will be attending as well as the positions employers are seeking to fill.

Before attending the fair, Gray said she recommends students be comfortable introducing themselves, discussing their major and extracurricular activities and demonstrating interest in the companies they engage with. The fair will also feature a counselor table for students should they need tips on how to best connect with employers.

“Ask a question,” Gray said. “The conversation will flow from there.”

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About Mary Steurer

Mary is a Computer Science Engineering major pursuing a minor in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy. If her journalism career doesn't work out, her Plan B is to start a petting zoo.

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