By Allie Mongan
Five hundred and fifty five students and eighty-three different employers attended the Career Development Center’s (CDC) annual Employer Expo on Tuesday in Gerhard Fieldhouse, yet a fair amount of students felt the expo catered only towards a specific type of student.
Each employer sent multiple representatives, many of which were University alumni or parents of University students.
A range of class years was present at the expo, but seniors made up the majority of participants. This is expected at the fall expo because “the fall expo is mainly geared towards students looking for full-time employment opportunities. The spring expo is more for the younger students who are trying to find internships,” said Alison Ordonez, associate director of alumni relations and career services.
“I think everyone should go. It’s excellent practice for interviewing and interacting with people in the professional world. It is also a nice place to show your potential interest with certain companies,” Ryan Ottino ’12 said.
The fall expo is more helpful for seniors because many begin sending their résumés to employers toward the end of the fall semester, so they are able to meet employers and hopefully establish connections.
Many representatives are alumni, which is helpful because this connection can make those interactions more meaningful. Alumni often request their companies send them back to their alma mater because they know it prepares students well for a career.
“I think it was a great opportunity to talk with a number of employers and a number of Bucknell alums working at particular firms,” Alison Nahra ’12 said.
Attendees were encouraged to bring copies of their résumés to hand out to various representatives. The CDC also encourages students to follow up with thank-you notes or emails to the men and women representatives with whom they spoke. With 83 different employers in attendance it gives the “opportunity for students to explore their horizons and look into jobs they may not have otherwise considered,” Zach Kopelman ’13 said.
One main complaint about the expo was that it is too heavily geared towards engineering and finance majors. Many students in education and those looking into other avenues after college, such as advertising, stayed away.
“I did not go to the career fair because after looking at the list of companies who would be in attendance, I realized that most of them were engineering or finance or things I was not interested in. I’m interested in a career in journalism but unfortunately, there wasn’t anything like that at the career fair,” Jenni Whalen ’12 said.
The more creative and nonprofit industries typically do not come to any career fairs, but the CDC can help students find opportunities in those areas.
“Students need to know how the industry and organizations of interest for them hire and recruit. Some may need to utilize some other avenues and processes, but that is why we are here,” Ordonez said.
The CDC has off-campus fairs in cities such as Washington, D.C. and New York, which are geared more towards creative, nonprofit or government services. Education majors are able to attend the Bloomsburg Fair every spring.
Students who found this Employer Expo unhelpful can go to the CDC for help and guidance. They have walk-in hours and students can also call and schedule an appointment to meet with one of the numerous counselors. Other resources, such as the BRIDGE and B-link, can be utilized.
Additional employment programs are held each semester and the second Employer Expo is scheduled for Jan. 31.