University News

Career fair aids student job, internship hunt

CareerLAB director encourages networking, exploring career options from Microsoft to CVS

Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Dozens of companies packed into Sayles Hall for Wednesday’s Spring Career Fair. Students were able to speak with representatives from a wide variety of companies and use a new app to navigate through the hall.

Over 40 company booths filled Sayles Hall for the Spring Career Fair Wednesday, as corporate giants from Microsoft to CVS set up shop next to smaller companies to attract potential interns and employees.

CareerLAB Director Matthew Donato advised students to consider the fair as “an exercise in relationship-building” and an opportunity to gather information. “It’s a great way to meet employers, to practice your networking skills and to practice having a conversation with an employer,” he said.

This is the first year that CareerLAB is using an app for the Career Fair that allows students to navigate the fair without it being too “paper-intensive,” Donato said. Students can also plan which companies they want to talk to in advance with the app, he added.

Depending on where a student is in the job-seeking process, Donato recommended that students “have a game plan when you go in … to know what employers are going to be there. Have some questions that you want to get answered,” adding that he encourages Brown students of all ages to consider coming to the career fair in the future.

He also noted that the University might be moving away from general fairs toward smaller, field-focused events in the future. The decision could hinge on the “tradeoff between having a big event that attracts a lot of students versus having smaller events that might attract smaller groups,” he said. “We welcome student input … on how we can make our fairs better.”

Jeannie Le ’16, one of the students who attended the fair, said she has felt mounting pressure to find a job quickly and was not particularly concerned about her career path.

“It’s spring. I need a job,” she said. “I’m getting desperate at this point.” Le also said she found some of the businesses represented at the fair, such as a construction company, surprising.

Darius Chyou ’16, who was looking at jobs in healthcare, consulting and education said he is also anxious for employment.

Chyou found the fair helpful, and added that he was happy to have spoken with several companies.

If students are unsure about what careers they are interested in pursuing, the fair is a good place to “learn something about a specific job or a professional path that you didn’t know about already” and “see what’s out there,” Donato said.