More than 1,000 Students Attend Fall Career and Graduate School Fair
College doesn’t last forever, so even though he is only a freshman, Nicholas Saldivar ’17 (Princeton, N.J.) attended the Fall Career and Graduate School Fair at Providence College on Wednesday, September 25, to seek information about career internships.
“I’m trying to get a better understanding of what I want,” said Saldivar, a psychology major who also is interested in sociology. “I want to get as many internships as I can.”
More than 1,000 students — a record number and representing a quarter of the school's enrollment — attended the three-hour Career Fair organized by the Career Education Center and held in the Peterson Recreation Center. Dressed in business attire and carrying résumés, they browsed among exhibits by more than 100 employers, including accounting and financial firms, health-care companies, technology providers, and non-profit organizations, and graduate and law schools.
New this year was the inclusion of the Internship Showcase, a student-to-student networking event in which students shared internship experiences with their peers. Saldivar spoke with Melissa Suckow ’14 (Pembroke, Mass.), a psychology major, and Lauren Oliver ’14 (Holbrook, Mass.), a sociology major, about their work during the summer.
Suckow interned with Sojourner House, an advocacy and resource center for domestic violence victims in Rhode Island. She found the internship through PSY 350, a Psychology Internship course she took junior year. She is continuing to volunteer with the organization and said it has helped clarify her career plans.
“I definitely want to work with a non-profit or in something in the educational system,” Suckow said. “My focus is post traumatic stress disorder in children.”
Oliver’s adviser helped her find a paid summer internship as a researcher with the Population Research Center at the University of Texas in Austin. She attended seminars and labs to learn about how to use data and plans to continue her studies in graduate school.
“An internship is so important now,” said Oliver. “You can’t get a job without it.”
Students and strategies
The Career Education Center has worked hard to get that message across to students — and to remind them that it’s never too early to begin thinking about careers. Early in September, the center launched a “Don’t Wait — Slavin 108” campaign, encouraging students to visit the office, activate their online job-search accounts known as eFriars, and receive free T-shirts.
Another program, “Senior Catch Up,” provided seniors with 25-minute sessions to update their résumés and think about future employment.
To make it easier for student-athletes to attend Career Fair, the Career Education Center made arrangements for them to come before or after practice in their workout clothes. At least 35 student-athletes took advantage of the opportunity, including members of the women’s basketball and volleyball teams.
“It’s been great, because we can be in our comfort zone, so to speak, without worrying about going back to shower” and dress up, said Sattoria Rule ’15 (Minneapolis, Minn.), a health policy and management major and a basketball player who was seeking information about graduate programs.
The need to seek out employment opportunities wasn’t lost on English major Sean Bailey ’14 (Groton, Mass.), who found a summer internship as a beat writer for the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Bailey spent the summer writing about the team, which won the Cape Cod League Championship, and posting his stories to the team’s web site. Among the highlights was meeting longtime baseball writer Peter Gammons, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Career Education Center was pleased with the record attendance at the Career Fair, which was almost three times as high as previous years.
“Students really took advantage of the opportunity to prepare their résumés ahead of time and meet with potential employers,” said Eileen L. Wisnewski, associate director for employer relations, engagement, and outreach. “The earlier they get started on their employment search, the better!”
A second Career Fair will be held in the spring. Other events offered by the Career Education Center include the Major and Minor Fair on October 2, which will give freshmen and sophomores the chance to learn about areas of study, and the Liberal Arts Recruiting Connection in Boston on October 25.
— Vicki-Ann Downing
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