The annual Job and Internship Fair, organized by the Career and Professional Development (CPD) Office, will take place on Feb. 21 from 12–2 pm in the Floy Lewis Bakes Field House.
Over 85 representatives and alumni from local businesses and non-profit organizations on the national and local level will attend the fair, offering students the opportunity to discuss full-time employment as well as part-time jobs and internships.
According to Sharon Hansen, interim director of the Career and Professional Development Office, the Job and Internship Fair is not industry specific but offers “a little bit of everything.”
Fields widely represented at the fair include healthcare, business, media, and non-profit. Participating employers include Albert Einstein Healthcare Network and Birch Run Financial, while Elmwood Park Zoo and NBCUniversal offer internships. Students can also volunteer with groups like the Peace Corps and the Philadelphia Film Society.
Malcom Loh ’19, a biology major, has never attended the fair before. He expressed his excitement in being able to explore opportunities related to his major.
“I don’t actually know which specific companies are going to show at the fair,” Loh said.
“I’m mainly looking to see if there are any companies that specialize in research and development.”
The entire list of participating organizations is available on the Ursinus website, Hansen pointed out. She urges students to check the site out ahead of the event. Most of the jobs and internships represented at the fair will be from the greater Philadelphia area. Among these representatives, will be many Ursinus alumni.
When the CPD noticed job and internship fairs taking place on other college campuses, the Ursinus administration recognized the potential for students to make career connections through networking with alumni and decided to jump on the bandwagon, Hansen said.
Hansen encourages students to participate in the fair regardless of class year or major.
Seniors and juniors should look for entry-level jobs and careers for after graduation. Sophomores may survey which opportunities are available and make a good first impression with representatives.
First-year students can learn about part-time and summer job opportunities with local businesses, like Wegman’s.
Hansen said that undecided students should still go to see what jobs are out there and if any fields are appealing.
Claire Hughes ‘20 felt attending last year’s fair was helpful.
“It was something the college found very important, and I’m glad I went. There were lots of places, and many people I know found internships,” she said.
When asked how students should prepare for the fair, Hansen recommends students research organizations ahead of time and prepare questions that express their interest in opportunities with those organizations.
The CPD urged students in its preparation pamphlet to have a “plan of attack”- visiting organizations that are the most interesting to a student and using time wisely.
Part of this plan should nclude taking detailed notes about an organization’s employment requirements or client references, the CPD explained.
The CPD also offers free feedback sessions on resumes and cheap copy paper services so students may hand out copies of their resume at the fair.
Students should wear suits or business-casual wear. Students in need of a profile picture for LinkedIn, a professional networking website for workers and hopeful employees to connect with each other, should visit the professional photographer who will be present at the fair.
“Showing preparedness will make the companies remember [a student], in a way that leaves a lasting impression for the years to come,” Hansen said. “At the next fair, [the business] may remember [a student] because of [how prepared they were] the previous year.”
Hansen urged the importance of maintaining a connection through Handshake, Ursinus’s version of LinkedIn for connecting alumni and businesses with students, as well as CareerShift.
The CPD can assist students in retaining their connection with businesses and encourages keeping a list of companies to contact and asking for business cards as well.
“Building a connection increases [a student’s chances] in getting employed,” Hansen said.
“[The Job and Internship Fair] gives students a chance to see what life after Ursinus will be like and showcase their talents in front of employers in an effective way,” Hansen said.
“The diversity of fields among the organizations and opportunities has grown, so students will be able to take advantage of what’s out there.”