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Spring Career Expo Tomorrow

More than 120 employers expected

Engineering career fair at Boston University, ENG Career Expo

Photos by Kalman Zabarsky

It’s possible you’ll find yourself shaking hands with your future boss within the next 24 hours. Tomorrow, BU’s Center for Career Development (CCD) will host its annual Spring Career Expo, which is expected to draw representatives from more than 120 nonprofit, for-profit, and international employers to campus. Among the participants are Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Cambridge public schools, the Langham hotel in Boston, the fashion and home décor website Rue La La), and the computer technology giant Oracle.

The expo isn’t designed just for underclassmen looking to land their first summer internship or for soon-to-be graduates hunting for that first job, says Eleanor Cartelli, the CCD’s associate director for marketing and communications. “It’s really for everyone—undergrads, graduate students, and even young alumni,” she says. “It’s the place to build that initial connection with a recruiter, because networking is king.” In fact, the CCD reports that an increasing number of organizations are looking at their former interns when preparing to fill entry-level staff jobs.

The job market for students graduating this spring remains tight: the unemployment rate for millennials climbed to 13.1 percent last month, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s January jobs report. That number is well above the nation’s overall unemployment rate of 7.8 percent.

In advance of tomorrow’s Career Expo, the CCD advises students to do some homework. Kimberly DelGizzo, director of the CCD, suggests they research the organizations and companies that they want to meet (see the full list of participants on BU’s CareerLink). She also urges students to keep an open mind about companies that don’t appear to match their academic background. —For example, don’t dismiss  a financial planning company because you’re an English major. “What we try to tell students is that employers are not just hiring for jobs in one specific industry,” DelGizzo says. “A financial company, for instance, might have jobs in human resources, marketing, and communications. So look really broadly at the organization.”

Engineering career fair at Boston University, ENG Career Expo

Among the CCD’s other recommendations: bring a one-page résumé (what DelGizzo describes as your calling card and sales pitch) with you; prepare an “elevator pitch” and thoughtful questions for prospective employers; dress appropriately (a suit or business casual is advisable); turn off your cell phone during interviews and offer a firm handshake when introducing yourself; warm up for the companies you’re most interested in talking to by first visiting representatives from another organization; and collect business cards so you can follow up with a recruiter after the fair.

New to this year’s Career Expo is a preparation station. After attendees check in, they will enter the GSU’s Ziskind Lounge (on the building’s second floor) to leave their coats and grab a nametag. The CCD has compiled binders with information on the participating organizations so that students can hone their questions and plan how to navigate the event. Students can also practice their elevator pitch with CCD staffers. Tissues, mints, and a mirror (for preventing any embarrassing lettuce-in-the-teeth moments) will also be provided.

“This Career Expo is really a place for students to learn more about a wide range of companies,” DelGizzo says. “Employers come to students, on campus, and want to talk about their opportunities. It can’t get any easier than that.”

The Spring Career Expo is tomorrow, Wednesday, February 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Metcalf Ballroom, George Sherman Union, second floor, 775 Commonwealth Ave. To see a full list of organizations participating in the Career Expo, log on to the CareerLink. The Center for Career Development will hold a Résumé Blitz today, February 12, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the CCD, 100 Bay State Rd., sixth floor. Registration is not required.

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Amy Laskowski

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

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