Students Feelings Mixed on Impact of Career Fair

By Justin Lesko

Rutgers students traded in their t-shirts and sweats for blazers and skirts on Friday, Feb.28 for the Business, Arts and Communications Industry and Career Fair.

Over  100 employers were on hand  from Enterprise Rent-a-Car to AT&T, Toyota, and TD Ameritrade according to University Career Services, who hosted the event. Job seekers, however,left the Rutgers Student Center with mixed responses as to whether a job or interview would come from the event.

Human relations major Anthony Prudente was looking for an internship at the career fair. He used the university’s online career management system, CareerKnight, to pre-screen employers to seek at the fair but found that they did not have what he wanted.

“There were about six companies that had what I was looking for and four of them turned out that they weren’t looking for an internship, they were looking for a full time position so I was a little bit disappointed by that,” said Prudente.

Overall, he did not find the event to help him reach his internship goal.

“It seems the vibe coming from the career fair wasn’t really for entry level positions but was for sales positions,” he said.

Maitri Patel went to the event mainly to get information, as she did not think employers could truly evaluate prospective employees in that environment.

“There’s so many people that go in there that I don’t think they hire anyone,” she said. “I think they just go to collect resumes.”

Michael Yeller, a representative from the business review site Yelp, denied Patel’s claim,“We don’t do that. We identify talent, put them in our system and reach out to them with applications within the next five to ten days.”

Other students saw the fair as a helpful experience for their career goals.

“If nothing else, it’s alerting you to what’s available out there, to what kind of markets or what areas of the job market are hiring and what majors fit in there,” said Michael Scheuerman, a career-seeking student. “Here specifically, I think if you do hand in your resume and you pursue there’s a chance you can get a job.”

Fellow student Tulika Thaly echoed Scheuerman’s sentiment that offers would come from the event if students actively engage the employers.

“There were some that were actually taking notes on what I wanted, my graduate date and everything. They were able to cater to what I wanted.”

She went on to add, “It depends on the effort you make because some of them seem bored because all they do is look at resumes.”

A Rutgers alumnus and representative for Assurant Employee Benefits, an insurance company with over 1,750 employees, according to their website, said his company chose to attend the career fair at his alma mater for a reason.

“One of the reasons why Rutgers was chosen as a job fair we want to do is because of the diversity of the university, in curriculum and students.”

MillerCoors representative Jennifer McMahon said she already had two Rutgers graduates on her team and was hoping to add a third to cover Connecticut.  She looked for self-driven and motivated applicants. As she was filling a sales job, she wanted to see a sales pitch from the applicants about themselves.

“I like it when people sell themselves, when they have a quick thirty second pitch of who they are,” she said.