Career Fair sparks connections between students and employers

By on October 17, 2017

Julia Gallop | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
Devoted and working tirelessly to connect students’ classroom education with genuine career networking connections, Dean Dana Rosengard and Dean Jill Koehler had high expectations for the 2017 university-wide career fair.

Dr. Rosengard, assistant dean for career development in the School of Communications, raved about the event and seeing students make connections to continue their steps towards a career after they earn their degree.

“I literally heard the buzz,” Rosengard said. “You hear that all the time—- ‘oh there was a buzz in the room’—- literally that is what it sounds like, a million bees. I was like ‘oh my God, this is so exciting’ and you have no idea what any of the conversations are, but you just know that they’re happening and that’s so wildly exciting.”

Rosengard was excited for his third year of helping at the career fair. Students connect with recruiters and even discover opportunities in places they hadn’t thought to look before, according to Rosengard.

“You figure out things like Ernst & Young, one of the biggest accounting firms in the country, you walk by their table and you’re like ‘Oh please, I’m not an accountant,’” Rosengard said. “Ernst & Young puts out a newsletter probably monthly… well it doesn’t write itself. Journalists write it.”

Rosengard believes the career fair is the perfect setting for younger students at Quinnipiac to practice being personable and professional when interacting with potential employers.

“Here’s the way to practice it,” Rosengard said. “In a real live situation; you’re dressed up a little, you’re nervous a little, there’s stuff going on a little. You only get better if you practice, simple as that.”

Jill Koehler, associate dean for career development in the School of Business encouraged students to take advantage of the resources and opportunities provided by the career fair.

“We have, across every industry, people coming. From business to communications to health sciences to engineering,” Koehler said. “The reason why I do a career fair for the whole school instead of just the business school is because there’s a lot of overlap.”

Through her 11 years at Quinnipiac putting on the career fair, Koehler has learned that students who do their research and put in the time and effort will get the most out of their experience.

“I would say at least 25 percent of our students receive jobs through the career fair,” Koehler said. “Our feedback from recruiters is that our students are always very well prepared, they’re well dressed, they ask the right questions, they’ve done their research.”

Both Koehler and Rosengard agreed that helping students build their careers is more than just these career fair events, it’s about the classes offered, working with individual students and seeing students put in their effort on their side of things.

Rosengard coined the term ‘QUINN’tern’ to differentiate a Quinnipiac student from any regular student out in the professional world.

“Those people out in the real world become converts and then my phone rings; ‘I have a great QUINN’tern, I want another one because this one found me, how do I get another one?” Rosengard said.

Meg Messier, a junior marketing major attended the career fair with hopes of making connections and finding leads for career opportunities.

“I did get a lot of valuable information and met with some companies that I really liked,” Messier said. “I think that it is important for people to go, even if they are not actively looking for a job because it’s a great networking opportunity and a good way to practice speaking with recruiters.”

Lisa Newell, the Human Resource manager at News 8, a local Connecticut news station, attended the event for the first time. She was excited about the prospect of meeting Quinnipiac students and hopefully finding some potential interns.

“I’m very impressed by all the students I’ve met so far,” Newell said. “They’re very involved in campus activities and journalism, in the newspaper, at the radio station, so it looks like Quinnipiac is doing a great job training their students.”

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