Job Prospects Abound for SHU Students at Career Fair
The sign at the RBC Bearings Inc. booth at the entrance to the Internship and Career Fair at thePittCenteron February 22 summed up the event: “Explore the Possibilities.”
More than 300 people, including undergraduate students, graduate students and alumni, took advantage of the opportunity to explore their professional possibilities, meeting with representatives of 112 companies and agencies, handing out their resumes and lining up interviews in hopes of securing full-time work or internships.
“Any time you take initiative, opportunities are bound to come your way,” said Chris Tsirbas, of Stamford, Conn., who graduated from Sacred heart University with a degree in psychology.
The available positions were plentiful and in a broad range of disciplines, from seasonal entertainment opportunities at Six Flags New England theme park to full-time jobs in homeland security.
“Part of our strategic plan here in Connecticut is ensuring public awareness of our mission and also recruiting qualified applicants for the federal government,” said Dan Lee, a program analyst for the Transportation Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security, a first-time participant in the Career Fair. Lee said this is the perfect time for SHU students to apply for federal jobs.
“Within the next five to seven years the federal government expects 50 percent of the federal workforce to retire,” he said.
Senior John Wilson, of Hartford, Conn., who will return to SHU next year for his last year of eligibility on the football team, said he attended the fair to see what types of jobs and companies would allow him to put his impending psychology degree to use. Although he dreams of a professional football career, “I can’t put all my eggs in one basket and think that I’m going to get to the NFL,” he said.
The majority of students were seniors looking for their place in the job market in anticipation of their May graduation. Others were trying to position themselves for future employment.
Sophomore Paul Constantini, of Milford, who has a double major in sports management and finance, said he wanted to get his foot in the door of the corporate world before graduation and the Career Fair gave him that opportunity.
“It’s given me ideas of what’s out there. When I’m a senior I won’t be overwhelmed,” said Caroline Worth, a business major with a concentration in marketing, from North Arlington, N.J., who talked with representatives from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers about potential internships.
“I was a little unsure we should come because we’re only sophomores. It was mostly seniors who are looking for jobs now and we just wanted summer internships. We wanted to get ahead of the game,” said Katie Irizarry, of Levittown, N.J., a business major with an emphasis on sports management.
“There are a lot of good internship opportunities that, if you stay with a company, could almost guarantee you a job after you graduate,” said Edward Gurrieri, a sophomore business management major from Manalapan, N.J.
Amy Simoneau, a recruiter for KForce, a finance and accounting company in Stamford, said the Career Fair was as valuable to the companies as it was to students. She said it provided a human element. “I don’t just judge by a resume but personality and drive,” Simoneau said.
Veronica Hood, director of human resources for Priceline.com agreed. ”When you’re looking at a job board like Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com you don’t get a chance to interact and quickly see if there’s a fit [between student and company] to move to the next level,” Hood said.