Spring Semester Career Fair Virtually Connects ND Students and Employers

Author: Katy White, Administrative Coordinator

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The Meruelo Family Center for Career Development (CCD) hosted its annual Spring Semester Career Fair on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the fair was held virtually, making it the department’s second virtual career fair. Building on the success of the 2020 Virtual Fall Career Fair, the CCD utilized the Handshake platform to host students and employers for the Fair as well as nine additional career-related events throughout the week.

The virtual event was a great opportunity for students to explore several industries, learn about potential jobs and internships, as well as network with employers and Notre Dame alumni recruiting for their companies. In order to offer a seamless experience, both students and employers were offered the opportunity to participate in virtual test fairs prior to the fair week, to troubleshoot any technical issues. 

Sarah Delph, Recruitment Services Coordinator for the Center for Career Development felt that, “Transitioning the Spring Career Fair to a virtual platform made a huge impact for our employers.” Delph felt that utilizing a virtual platform again actually provided opportunities for more connections to be made. “Implementing the virtual platform removed barriers that would have normally inhibited employers from interacting with our students.” 

Over 1,000 students attended sessions offered by more than 130 attending employers. Undergraduate and graduate students met with employer representatives both individually and in group settings. In order to help students get ready for these interactions, the CCD offered pre-fair preparation sessions covering how to navigate the Handshake platform, virtual etiquette, interviewing best practices, and how to get connected with employers. Several college specific resume reviews were also conducted by career counselors in the weeks leading up to the fair.

Ashlley Castillo, a sophomore majoring in Political Science, was initially uncertain about attending the fair. “This was my first time attending a career fair, which made it very nerve-wracking but the process was easy and the interviewers were very nice.”  For Ashlley, preparation made a big difference. “I talked to a CCD staff member who helped me with my elevator pitch and gave me general tips to help prepare me for the fair. I also talked to Anita Rees (Industry Team Assistant Director and CCD Career Counselor) who gave me advice on what interviewers are looking for in a candidate. Overall, it was a great first experience and I am ready to attend more career fairs in the future.”

In addition to the actual fair, the CCD and campus partners offered the following special events:

  • Spring Into Engineering Networking Event
  • ITAO: Business Technology and Analytics Networking Event
  • Intro to Corporate Finance with Disney
  • Arts & Letters Career Fair Insights: Tips from Peers and Employers
  • Opportunities in Education - Meet the Career Fair Employers
  • Graduate Student Alumni Panel and Employer Networking Events
  • Student-Athlete Networking Event 
  • Diversity & Inclusion Networking Event

The CCD is now gearing up for a busy spring of virtual offerings including Software Engineering Week, Spring Consulting Week, and the Wall Street Forum. For more information on the Center for Career Development’s events and programming please visit careerdevelopment.nd.edu.