Are you seeking an internship or a full-time job next summer? Are you a senior and worried that you haven’t yet started a job search? Clear some time in your schedule and stop by the Center for Career Development (CCD) Fall Career Fair tomorrow at the George Sherman Union.
A record 1,300 students attended last fall’s fair. And with more than 100 employers from the government, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors scheduled to be on hand tomorrow, the CCD expects at least that number. But Lou Gaglini, the center’s new executive director, says the event will offer a more personalized experience than previous career fairs.
“Students are seeking customization. Students are seeking diversity,” Gaglini says. “Students want to walk into a career fair and say, ‘What’s here for me? Why should I be here? Why should I be at this event versus something else?’”
Gaglini came to BU from Boston College, where he was associate director for employer engagement, leading student recruiting programs and developing a plan for enhancing internship and postgraduation opportunities. He has charged his staff with making sure that the fair offers something for all students—those just beginning to explore career options as well as those who have decided to limit their search to a specific industry.
Whether it’s helping students narrow down their options so they can focus on a targeted group of employers, helping those interested in a summer internship, or helping arrange a professional photo for a student’s LinkedIn page, Gaglini says the fair’s goal is supporting them in their career journey.
The new director and his staff pushed this year to bring in a broader array of organizations and businesses. “We have such a diverse student body. Most companies think that Boston University is a terrific place for them to visit,” he says, “so we have marketed to employers. Rather than simply opening it up and asking them to sign up, we have targeted organizations based on industries where perhaps our representation wasn’t as strong in the past. We are making a very deliberate effort there.”
Gaglini, with more than two decades of experience in talent acquisition, placement, and staffing, says his office is also doing more to encourage students to attend.
“Rather than just opening it up and saying, ‘Terrific, it’s open for you, and we hope you come,’ our approach is, ‘We’d like to present you with the reasons why you should come,’” he says. “We want students to come and feel connected to the marketplace, to feel connected to their potential career path and to the future. I view the Center for Career Development as being a catalyst for that.”
To further its customized experience for students, the CCD is continuing to develop Handshake, the online hub for career resources that offers career-related events and job and internship opportunities, as well as the skill-building services available at the CCD, the College of Communication Career Development, the College of Engineering Career Development Office, the Questrom School of Business Feld Center for Industry Alliances, and the School of Hospitality Administration Marriott Career Center.
Handshake allows students to select favorite employers, see when those organizations will be on campus for both interviews and events, and view job listings from companies across the globe. “It’s the central hub where students are accessing career resources and where they are connecting with employers,” says Eleanor Cartelli, CCD senior associate director. “The more students interact with it, the more the system will understand the things that student is looking for.”
CCD staffers recommend researching companies or organizations you’re interested in before going to the job fair (a common recruiter complaint: students don’t do enough background research before an interview), making sure your résumé is up to date and in order, and wearing business attire.
The CCD is again offering its pre-fair primer, Career Fair Squared, today, Tuesday, October 17, from 4 to 7 p.m., at the Yawkey Center, Room 101, 100 Bay State Rd. Student ambassadors will be on hand to offer advice, assist with last-minute résumé changes, and answer questions about the fair.
The Fall 2017 Career Fair is tomorrow, Wednesday, October 18, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the George Sherman Union Metcalf Ballroom, 775 Comm Ave., second floor. Find more tips about how to prepare for the career fair here.
Taylor Raglin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.