SHU Hosts Annual Spring Career and Internship Fair

News Story: February 1, 2010
Kerry Armstrong (right), a junior from Bridgeport, CT, spoke with Danielle Buccola and Maren Mercado of the McGladrey & Pullen CPA firm during the annual Spring Career and Internship Fair.

Hundreds of smartly dressed students gathered Wednesday (Feb. 17) in the William H. Pitt Center on the Sacred Heart University campus for the annual Spring Career and Internship Fair. They were there to explore career opportunities with dozens of potential employers and sharpen their interviewing and networking skills.  
The annual fair is sponsored by the University's Office of Career Development, which has a long history of helping students and alumni focus on a personal sense of meaning and career direction in relation to their distinctive gifts, goals and vision for living.  
Prior to attending the Career and Internship Fair, students are required to have their resume approved by a member of the Office of Career Development’s staff, which can assist in resume writing and help market a specific skill and experience a student possesses.                                           
Representatives from nearly 100 companies and organizations were on hand for Wednesday’s event. The presence was wide-ranging, with representation from federal agencies such as the Secret Service to technology companies, non-profit organizations and even a political candidate -- Dan Malloy for Connecticut.  
“The opportunity to network with employers is one of the best opportunities we can offer to assist our students in preparing for life after college," said Patricia Klauser, executive director of Career Development. "We were extremely pleased with the high number of employers that attended our annual career fair, recruiting SHU students for internships and full-time positions in a very difficult economy." 

Junior Matt Vereb from Allentown, NJ, swaps his resume in exchange for information about a Hertz Corporation internship from a representative of the company.

Klauser, who has worked at Sacred Heart for two decades in a variety of advising and career counseling roles, is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has been at her current post since 2006. She designed and implemented the Major in Success program, a structured affirming process of learning and self-discovery to help first- and second-year students who are unsure of their goals and often unsure of themselves. 
She added that while the career fair can help students find a job or internship, it also prepares them in the critical development of networking skills, obtaining leads and practicing marketing a specific skill set to potential employers.  
Kristen Ribesell, a senior business administration major, was one of the students who attended the event. The Wyckoff, N.J., native said it was an opportunity to meet with scores of potential employers and it gave her a chance to network with professionals as well.
"That is extremely crucial when seeking a job," she said. "Many times when you submit your resume via e-mail or through a website, it may be overlooked. The fair presented the opportunity to get yourself remembered." 

Mike Tarantino, a graduate student from Wantagh, NY, leaves his resume with Chenia Gray, a retail sales representative from Verizon Wireless.

The event proved to be an effective tool for Ribesell – she said she was was offered an internship, and is waiting to hear from two other companies. Many companies that attended the campus career fair on Wednesday return to the fair year after year, citing the impressive and well-prepared students they encounter at Sacred Heart University.
Vincent Giandurco and his wife, Brenda, own Brenda Lynn Inc., a Fairfield-based designer hat company whose products are featured in such high-end stores as Barney’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, and are pleased with the results the fair has yielded the company in the last five years. 
“The Sacred Heart student is very often a go-getter, someone who really wants to excel in life and work, and who is willing to work hard to learn new skills,” said Giandurco as several students stopped by his table. “Also, the business program at Sacred Heart University tends to prepare its students for the real world of business, as opposed to the more theoretical approach embraced by many other colleges. This aspect of the program generates students who are more prepared for business dilemmas, and helps them to become problem-solvers, which is what all employers seek.” 
Brenda Lynn Inc. offers internships in general business, marketing and accounting and gives students a stipend and a clothing allowance as compensation. “We have found many wonderful students who have helped us to grow our business over the years, and indeed, we have gone on to hire many of them as part-time workers after their internships are complete, showing that they truly have been excellent additions to our staff,” added Giandurco.