What Recruiters Want & Why Students Came: Looking Back at the 2019 Fall Career Fair

Author: Elizabeth Kolb, Class of '20


Over 3,000 students came to the Joyce Center to network with employers last Tuesday, September 17th, for the 2019 Fall Career Fair. This is the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development’s signature event, one of two career fairs that the CCD puts on for students every year. Months of planning and preparation go into this day, from the CCD staff, the recruiters, and, of course, the students themselves. Almost 60 employers held interviews in CCD spaces on the 5th floor of Duncan Student Center the day after the fair.

More than 200 firms traveled to Notre Dame for the Fall Career Fair, and many of them have been returning year after year to recruit Notre Dame students. I spoke with some recruiters about their reasons for returning every year:

“We love the passion of every student here!” - Erica Levy ‘`18, BDO

“Notre Dame students are well-rounded, motivated, and driven. They know what they want. That’s why we recruit here.” - Monica Fallon ‘19, Sazerac

“We’re looking for hard workers dedicated to beginning a career with a family-owned company … Notre Dame is very special to the Gallo family. Joe and Stephanie Gallo are Notre Dame alums, and a son of theirs played soccer here.” - Molly O’Koniewski ‘15, E.&J. Gallo Winery


Many students are intimidated by the huge scale of the Fall Career Fair, or think that they have to be one perfect major in order to talk to the recruiters there. Don’t worry! All the recruiters I spoke with said that core competencies, like problem-solving, teamwork, and professionalism, were much more important to them. (See p. 10-11 in the Career Development Guide workbook)

“We think it’s a great fit if the student is excited about a job and a future with us. It’s all about making your career your own.” - Erica Levy ‘18, BDO

“We’re looking for students who have a passion for technology and for working with people. Experience with technology is ideal, but definitely not the end-all-be-all here: we’re looking for problem solvers. And we’ve moved beyond recruiting just Computer Science and Computer Engineering majors. We want students who can demonstrate that they’re analytical, whether they’re from ACMS, IT Management, Business Analytics, or other majors.” - Travis Gayle, Pariveda Solutions

“We want people who are excited about what we do … I’d advise students to really go that extra mile, do your research, make sure you’re ready for questions, and be ready to highlight your skills.” - Monica Fallon ‘19, Sazerac

“We’re looking for self-motivated, competent, driven individuals - people who see themselves in a long-term career with us.” - Molly O’Koniewski ‘15, E.&J. Gallo Winery


The purpose of the Career Fair is for students to talk to recruiters and get started on their professional network, and many students took advantage of this opportunity on Tuesday.

“I went to the Arts & Letters career panel this morning, and Teach for America was one of the speakers there - they really captivated me. I’m looking to talk to the other companies that were at the panel, too, so I’ll go to General Mills and E.&J. Gallo Winery next.” - Keenan L. ‘22, English Major

“I’m here to see what my options are. I’m interested in non-profit work, not really the corporate side of things … I’m here to get some experience and practice for future fairs.” - Erin D., ‘21, History Major


Finally, students had some advice for their peers:

“Just be willing to come out, put your foot in the door, and get a lay of the situation.” - Nicolas G. ‘23, Music and Undeclared Business Majors

“Come and feel it out, there’s no need to feel any pressure!” - Erin D. ‘21, History Major


So when the Winter Career Fair rolls around in January, take Nicolas’ and Erin’s advice and come on down to check it out!