2020 Winter Career Fair Recap

Author: Marcella Mullaney

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On Tuesday, January 28, students and employers gathered in the Duncan Student Center for the Winter Career Fair. For the third year in a row, the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development hosted the campus-wide event from 4:00-8:00pm in the Dahnke Ballroom.

“The Winter Career Fair is an event that offers the opportunity for numerous employers to meet students on campus,” said LoriAnn Edinborough, Director of Student Engagement at the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development. “The employers come with excitement of meeting students and learning more about them for the opportunities they have to fill.”

Through this annual event, students were able to explore several industries and network with employers from across the country. This year, 111 organizations traveled to campus to participate in the fair. Employers covered a wide spectrum of industries ranging from accounting with Grant Thornton, to even the government with the United States Department of State.

Among the organizations, 132 of the employers were alumni, returning in hopes of specifically recruiting Notre Dame students. “Coming from Notre Dame, I know the caliber and the types of students and know the work ethic that many of them possess,” said class of ’17 alum Catherine Young. “This drives the passion within me to recruit similar students and similar people because I know that in the end, they are going to do a good job.” Young works for General Mills in a position she secured through attending a Career Fair as an undergrad. She expressed admiration for her company, wanting them to succeed. She acknowledged that “Notre Dame students are the gateway to that success.”

Surpassing last year’s turnout, 1,134 Notre Dame students participated in the 2020 Winter Career Fair with all colleges and class years represented. Among the student turnout, 216 First Year students attended. Edinborough noted that for First Years, “It’s great for them to talk to companies and organizations and learn what it is they [organizations] are going to be looking for when they start vying for those opportunities  as sophomores or juniors.”

Wiettt Sills, a senior double majoring in accounting and film, television, and theatre, came to the career fair to see what opportunities might be available for him. “First off, I’d like to get a job. That’s very important to me but, at the same time I’m trying to make connections.” Sills continued, “Even if I don’t get something now, I can have connections with people that I can reach out to in the future, and even find things that I might not be looking for initially. I’ve already passed by a few tables and thought, ‘Oh that looks interesting.’” In this heavily digital day and age, Sills commented on why making the face-to-face connection mattered to him. “It was really good to be able to talk to a recruiter in person rather than just shooting over my resume and doing all of that online.”

Through the Center for Career Development’s online career platform, Handshake, students were able to view employers coming to the career fair ahead of time. Edinborough mentioned that having access to this prior to the fair is only to their advantage when it comes to the day of the Winter Career Fair. “We encourage students to do research on Handshake, learn about what companies are coming and really evaluate what companies they want to visit.” 

Also on Handshake, employers were able to specify positions they were in search of.  To further help students identify potential opportunities, the Winter Career Fair’s event map included color-coded dots next to employer’s names. These dots indicated the type of opportunities for which the company was hiring. Through this system, students could easily identify and connect with a company that was looking for volunteer, full-time, or internship opportunities.

Prior to the day of the fair, the Center for Career Development held several general and college- specific resume review opportunities. Workshops on networking and preparing for the career fair were also available to all students, including a workshop on interviewing immediately following the career fair.

The Center for Career Development will host the second annual Regional Internship And Career Fair on Wednesday, April 22 at the Morris Inn Smith Ballroom.

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 If you have questions about the Winter Career Fair or future career events, please contact the Center for Career Development at ndcps@nd.edu.