Internship and Job Fair

The Office of Career Development held its annual Internship and Job Fair, which was presented as a chance for NSU students to apply the skills they’ve learned in the classroom to the real world, on Feb. 19  on the second floor of the Don Taft University center. Students sought job and internship opportunities, as well as a chance to network, but many said that they left disappointed, as they felt that the event did not meet their expectations.
Approximately 400 students of a variety of majors attended the fair, which had about 50 companies and organizations in attendance. Students were given packets — or “table guides” — to assist them in navigating the fair, which also specified each company’s hiring requirements and available positions.
Many students, like Felice Shekar — who is earning her master’s in conflict analysis and resolution, were eager for the opportunity to network, practice their interview skills and meet potential employers. She liked that prior to the event, the Office of Career Development provided an online list of the businesses registered for the fair, but said that several of the employers she was most eager to speak to did not show up or weren’t hiring.
“While waiting to speak to a potential employer, I overheard an employer in the next booth say to his colleague ‘We’re really not here to hire anyone, we just want to see who is out there.’” said Shekar. “That made me wonder about the motives of some of the companies that came to the job fair.”
Many students, like Shekar, said that they were displeased, as they felt that the fair did not cater to their needs. Junior finance major Kester Mark was pleased with the internship opportunities presented — but was not without complaint.
“I expected more of a focus on the business program, he said. “But I thought there was a good variety of internships and I was actually more interested in internships than a job.”
Students complained that out of all of the employers present, only one — Medical Optics — was interested in hiring biology majors.
Diane Klein, Assistant Director of Employer Relations and Internships, said, “We rarely have employers who are strictly seeking biology majors, because we like to show biology students that even if they are studying science, they don’t necessarily have to go into a lab or hospital setting.”
Many of the employers, according to Klein, were open to speaking to students of all majors, regardless of their major or degree.
“Bridgestone and Target, for example, were actively speaking to biology and psychology majors,” said Klein.
Meanwhile, other companies and organizations would only consider candidates who have already earned their degrees.
“Some companies cannot hire anyone other than individuals with degrees,” said Shari Saperstein, Director of Career Development. “That’s why during our screening process, we ask employers for descriptions of the students they are seeking, as well as the number of open positions they are looking to fill.”
According to Saperstien, one of the Office of Career Development’s requirements for employers is that they have a minimum of 3 to 5 open internships, full-time or part-time positions.
“I am surprised to hear that some of the employers present were not hiring or recruiting interns,” said Saperstein. “I would have really appreciated if students had brought that to my attention during the fair, because the point of the work that we do is to cultivate relationships with employers for students.”
Klein hopes that future fairs will be met with complete satisfaction, as she considers it an endeavor that is constantly improving.
“We want it to keep growing, and eventually increase the number of businesses to 80 tables,” said Klein. This way, the fair will appeal to everyone.”

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