Career fair provides great opportunities but could be broader

Excited underclassmen looking for internships, panicked upperclassmen looking for jobs and companies ready to offer both these opportunities came together at the career fair in Balfour Hood on Feb. 24. Organized by Career Services in the Filene Center, this fair had 21 diverse organizations come to Wheaton ranging from Aflac, a Fortune 500 financial insurance company to You Inc. a non-profit child welfare and behavioral health organization.

The 3-hour event was well-attended with 15-20 students arriving in just the first 30 minutes. Director Lisa Gavigan ’83 and Employer Relations Manager Barbara Carnevale from the Filene Center, were at the fair to sign-students in and help find companies that would fit their field of interest. Amanda Brazell ’17, an intern for career services was involved in advertising the event. “[The fair] is a great opportunity to network. More people should come,” she said.

Another person with a similar opinion was alum Megan Wandishin ’14 who was at the career fair in her position as Recruiting Manager at Hollister Staffing, a company that provides staffing solutions for technology, accounting and finance, administrative and human resources. Wandishin said that she did not take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Filene Center. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do. [Students should] utilize the alumni network,” she said.

Another professional staffing services firm at the career fair was KForce. Recruiter Kayla Brochu said that this company also aided students looking for a job in a variety of fields. They offered services like job market coaching and résumé formatting and were also looking for interns and new graduates to work for them. Jeffrey Tufts, treasurer of Wareham Gatemen Baseball Inc. a non-profit baseball league was at Wheaton to look for volunteer interns. These students could work with whatever their interest in positions of security, sports marketing, photography, TV and radio among others.

The Groden Network was an organization with a mission to support those with autism and other developmental disabilities. They provide service such as consultation, professional development/training, therapeutic and educational programs and were looking to hire both interns and seniors. Peggy Stocker, coordinator of admissions and interns said that the career fair was both convenient and successful.

Growthways Inc. in Brockton was another non-profit that provides community integrated programs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They were looking for people to provide residential support in their homes and paid summer interns. Human Resources Assistant Molly Hannigan said that they could work with any major, not just psychology and education.

Another company willing to work with students across majors was City Year, a national service organization that recruited young adults for a year of community service as tutors, mentors and role models in schools. Kristen Hill, a regional recruitment manager found this organization her senior year of college at Roger Williams. A criminal justice major, she said that it was one of the most challenging but best year of her life. “We (at City Year) are looking for volunteer-oriented students from all fields who want to take their interest and pay them forward,” Hill said.

For those looking to be more creative, the Truro Center for Arts in Cape Cod was also at the fair to look for students to work with summer workshops in painting, drawing and sculpture. They offered seasonal and summer jobs and came to Wheaton because of its good arts programs. Kieran Abbott, a registrar said that it was a great experience and navigating the fair was easy.

Ning Yan ’19 who has been to a few career fairs at Wheaton said that it offered opportunities and provided exposure to different companies. “This has been a good experience in networking. We get to meet real employers and discover what kind of employees they are looking for,” she said. Yan said that she wanted to see a wider range of companies and hoped that more Fortune 500 companies would come to smaller schools like Wheaton and recognize the value of a liberal arts education.

Lauren Yin ’17 a business major felt that there was not enough of a selection, especially for international students. “I don’t have any connections and have lots to learn. I hope companies offer training programs. I want to see bigger companies in advertising and marketing. A lot of the organizations are community focused and not very large,” she said.

Heather Rotman ’17 is passionate about motivational speaking in the fields of mental and sexual health. She was happy to see many mental health related organizations at the career fair. Andru Anderson ’19 said that the emails sent out by career services drew him to the fair and prepped him for the companies that would attend. He brought copies of his résumé to the fair and said that it was his first time actively seeking career opportunities. “It’s never too late to be prepared. I want to have all my ducks in a row,” he said. Anderson wanted more internships geared towards specific majors but overall felt he had a positive experience at the career fair.