The Meruelo Family Center for Career Development (CCD) at the University of Notre Dame hosted its first-ever virtual career fair Sept. 11 to 17 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Fall Career Fair Week took place entirely online via Handshake, the University’s career services platform, which helps students explore career options, find jobs and internships and connect with employers.
The event featured opportunities for students to meet with prospective employers, as well as panel discussions and networking events, including a diversity and inclusion networking event.
More than 240 employers and organizations, from Fortune 100 companies to local nonprofits, participated in the event, along with more than 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students.
In addition to moving the event online because of the coronavirus pandemic, the CCD expanded it from one to five days this year to give students more time to meet with employers.
“Our commitment was to provide as many opportunities as possible for our students to connect with employers in meaningful ways,” said Ryan Willerton, associate vice president for career and professional development at Notre Dame. “With this in mind, our career fair team decided to reenvision the format of our traditional career fair and fair-related networking events into a rebranded ‘career fair week.’”
Christine Cruzvergara, vice president of higher education and student success with Handshake, said, “In response to the impact COVID-19 had on recruiting in the spring, Handshake immediately developed and deployed a virtual career fair platform to our 1,100-plus college and university partners in three months. Notre Dame successfully held one of the largest virtual fairs on our platform, and we are proud to partner with universities like ND in supporting their efforts to democratize career opportunities for students from all backgrounds.”
Part of the Division of Student Affairs, the CCD supports Notre Dame undergraduate and graduate students in all stages and aspects of career development.
Looking ahead, the center will host a Virtual Law School Fair on Oct. 2, followed by a Winter Career Fair in February. The Law School Fair will offer opportunities for undergraduate students to meet with admissions representatives from more than 50 law schools. The Winter Career Fair will offer opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to network for summer internships and post-graduation plans.
The center is also working with Notre Dame faculty and University Relations staff, among others, on career development opportunities for students over the extended, 10-week winter break period.
For more information, visit careerdevelopment.nd.edu.
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