Due to the subzero temperatures and flight delays that accompanied the polar vortex, Notre Dame’s winter career fair was rescheduled from Jan. 30 to Feb. 13. Company representatives nevertheless adjusted their schedules and filled the Duncan Student Center’s DahnkeBallroom. Firms in various industries showcased their full-time employment and internship opportunities to Notre Dame students seeking work experience, offering them a chance to network and learn more about the professional world.
A total of 111 employers attended this year’s Winter Career Fair. Among some of the most prominent firms at the event were Deloitte, EY, PWC, Kohl’s and Teach For America. Of the 111 employers, 75 employers primarily recruited business majors, while 47 employers cater to arts and letters majors.
Many arts and letters students feel as though there is not an abundance of companies that cater to specific interests or fields of study other than business and engineering and therefore are deterred from attending. “As a sophomore I feel like there are less viable opportunities to network for an internship,” sophomore economics major Reagan Jacobs said. “So I feel like there are more valuable ways to accomplish my goals [of finding an internship] than attending the career fair.”
Many other students in the Mendoza College of Business agreed that they found personal connections and individual networking on their own time to be more beneficial in finding an internship or job rather than through the career fair.
Associate vice president for career and professional development Ryan Willerton explained that “breaking down perceived barriers is a challenge our staff continually work with students to address. Our goal is for students to approach career development as a process, not a transaction. Students who see the career fair as a ‘job fair’ where they can drop off a resume and hope for a job offer are not going to be successful.”
Willerton added: The career center offers workshops and individual counseling appointments that offer students who are intimidated or unfamiliar with the career development process to “gain insight into strategies to network, build relationships, learn where to find job opportunities, and effectively prepare for interviews.”
The career fair is only one of many opportunities for students to network and explore different industries and career paths. Willerton emphasized the availability of those other opportunities, saying that the Center for Career Development will be launching a new website this summer that features “more intuitive and streamlined information sharing.”