Kathy Clarkin, Manager of the Recruiting Program at The Amica Center for Career Education, is busy planning and preparing for tomorrow’s annual career fair. With over 80 companies and 600-800 students which attend, there are a lot of questions as to what is the benefit behind the career fair, what should I bring, and which companies should I visit? Below, Kathy answered these questions and more. She is the eyes and ears behind this year’s and every year’s career fair. Before landing her position here at Bryant, Kathy worked at Providence College as directors of career planning and internship services. Before Providence College, she received her Masters Degree in Counseling and Higher Education at the University of Rhode Island. Her duties primarily concern seniors and helping them with their job search process. Beyond this, Kathy coordinates any, and every, recruiting program that The Amica Center and Bryant can get their hands on and loves working with students to help guide their career path.
With that said, are you attending the career fair? It is tomorrow night-Wednesday February 27th from 5pm-7:30pm. If you haven’t registered, that is okay! Walk-ins are welcome, however professional attire is required. For more information on preparing for the career fair, click here!
HC: What are the different ways students benefit from the career fair? Is it worth their time and effort to attend?
KC: The career fair is great opportunity for students to connect with employers and alumni to learn about current or anticipated full-time job opportunities, summer or fall internships, as well as summer jobs. For graduating seniors and prospective summer interns, many of the organizations are currently accepting resumes through BCC and will interview selected candidates on-campus in March or April. Savvy students can make valuable connections at the fair while gaining further insight into how they can add value to an organization, thereby enhancing their potential interview success. Employers will also provide advance information regarding fall 2013 recruiting for rising seniors and juniors, enabling students to prepare over the summer for early fall campus recruiting opportunities.
The fair also helps students to enhance their “networking” skills, increase their confidence in interacting with employers and practice their “career e-pitch” or introduction of their professional interests and competencies; all of which are essential for a successful job or internship search. The career & internship fair can be especially helpful to gain insight into various career areas or paths within an organization beyond “posted opportunities.” Be ready to ask questions about your specific interests, where they might fit within an organization, and who you might connect with regarding those interests. Students typically enjoy speaking with Bryant alumni who are excited to share their experience and advice.
HC: If you had to give a list of necessities to have with you as a student at the career fair, what would they be?
KC: Dress professionally and bring resumes, a portfolio or notebook, and a pen. Don’t forget to have a prepared introduction- be ready to offer a brief summary of your background, interests and skills.
HC: If I’m a liberal arts student, which companies do you suggest visiting?
KC: Organizations such as The Groden Center, AmeriCorps,The Washington Center, or the RI Small Business Journal may be of interest to arts and sciences majors, however all organizations have potential opportunities for students. For example, a psychology major may be interested in a human resources internship or a mathematics major may be interested in product pricing or underwriting.The career fair is a great opportunity to ask questions about various fields within an organization and how to connect professionals in your interest area.
HC: What is your favorite part about planning the career fair?
KC: Our dedicated staff works collaboratively to coordinate a successful Fair that typically attracts over 80 employers and typically 600 to 800 students. Since employer participants consistently report that Bryant’s career fairs are among the best, we look forward to again connecting employers with our talented students in a high-energy, interactive atmosphere.
HC: Lastly, anything new for this semester’s career fair that students should keep an eye out for?
KC: Representatives from various Bryant University offices will be on hand to offer information on Graduate Degree programs (MBA, MPAC, Tax, Education, Communication and more), as well as Certificate programs offered by the Executive Development Center (Human Resources, Business Analyst, Project Management, Clinical Research and many more). Also, of course, the staff of the Amica Center for Career Education will be available to provide you with helpful resources specific to your career planning needs.