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​Anthony Leonardo '12, left, greets Trevor Hunt '11, now a trade

floor operations specialist at State Street Corporation in Boston.

(Photo by Ashley Daubenmire Photography)

Fall Career Fair Draws 350 Students

Providence, R.I.--Anthony J. Leonardo ’12 (Riverside, R.I.) isn’t letting the forecast of a difficult economy dim his job hopes.

“There’s no use worrying,” said Leonardo, an accounting major. “You’ve got to focus on what you can do to make yourself more attractive to companies.” 

At Providence College’s Fall Career and Graduate School Fair, Leonardo was able to hand his résumé to someone who was in his situation last year--Trevor R. Hunt ’11, now a trade floor operations specialist with State Street Corporation in Boston.

“We’re looking for anybody who is smart and willing to learn,” Hunt told Leonardo. “State Street has so many different venues and departments--accounting, finance, marketing, management.”

More than 350 students attended the three-hour fair sponsored by the Office of Career Services at the Peterson Recreation Center. They browsed exhibits and spoke with representatives from 120 businesses, nonprofit organizations, and graduate schools--many of them PC alumni.

John R. Formica Jr. ’81, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, which employs more than 100 PC alumni, 11 as partners, said the College’s accountancy program prepares students well.

“The students are very well-rounded, which is important to us,” said Formica. “We’re in a  service business, so people with good human relations skills are very important. The students also have a very strong technical background. ”

Despite the recession, Formica said his firm is hiring more people this year than it did last year.

“We’re hoping the economy doesn’t change drastically for the worse. It seems to be bumping along,” Formica said.

PC impresses Nestlé, too

Nestlé USA sweetened its offerings to students by giving out free samples of its products, including SweeTarts and Nerds Rope. Each year, the company hires two PC graduates through a competitive screening process.

Those selected must be willing to work anywhere in the country, said Michael P. Hannon ’07, who studied marketing at PC and is now a retail sales representative at Nestlé.

“It’s a great experience for someone out of college to gain sales experience and work for such a large company,” said Hannon. “And it doesn’t matter what your major is, as long as sales interests you.”

Steve Corr, lead recruiter for Nestlé, noted that alumni hold key positions at the company, including Thomas F. Smith III ’85, president of the Nestlé USA Sales Division, and Robert M. Flaherty ’76, vice president for Wal-Mart Global Business at Nestlé USA.

“It’s my seventh year at PC, and we’ve hired 16 students in that time,” said Corr. “They are very well-rounded, and very well-prepared because of Career Services. I think the students here are phenomenal.”

Corr said two employees working at the fair with him, Ryan M. Spagnuolo ’09 and Jordan M. Wanggaard ’09, were not hired immediately after graduation. But they kept in touch with him, calling every Friday afternoon for a full year until jobs became available, Corr said.

“They were very persistent,” said Corr. “I think they are a great success story.”

‘People skills and technical skills’

Laura K. Burke ’12 (Westford, Mass.), who is studying English with a minor in business studies and French, said she thought Nestlé would be a “fun” company to join.

Finding a job can be nerve-wracking, she agreed.

“I’d say I’m sort of trying to field as many applications as possible and hope some doors open so I have a chance,” said Burke.

Erin C. Rush ’12 (Norwood, Mass.), an English major, spoke to a representative from The JET Program, which offers college graduates the chance to teach English in Japan. Rush, who worked during the summer for The Harvard Business Review, said she would like a job in publishing, but “this is something I would definitely consider.” 

Two alumni from MFS Investment Management of Boston, Robert W. Green ’74, senior vice president, and Laura C. Bergemann ’02, section manager, said they were looking forward to hiring PC students.

“We’re looking for character, dependability, people that will take the initiative and hopefully work hard,” said Green.

Bergemann said PC students “are well-rounded and strong academically. They have knowledge and smarts, plus people skills and technical skills.”

Eileen Wisnewski, associate director for employer relations, said students should continue to take the initiative with future employers. The Career Fair was “a great indicator that organizations are actively looking to hire Providence College students for internships and entry-level positions,” Wisnewski said.

--Vicki-Ann Downing

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