The University of Connecticut Career Fair was a great opportunity for students to meet employers and make a great first impression for themselves. On Tuesday, the Spring Career Fair was held at Gampel Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. where over 150 employers from Connecticut and surrounding states were present. Graduating students were able to look for full-time opportunities at the fair, while current students had the chance to find internships from companies along with co-op opportunities.
Lisa McGuire, associate director of corporate partner relations for the Center for Career Development, participated in the event. McGuire explained how all employers need different people for various positions, using the Manchester Police Department as an example. She elaborated that they are not only looking for recruits to become police officers, but they need people for filing data, communications, etc. Regardless of the student’s major, they are always encouraged to attend. According to the CCD’s event information website, “companies are recruiting for all majors.”
“Just be curious. That’s my key. Talk to them, they’re used to students being curious,” McGuire commented. McGuire then elaborated that the employers attending do not expect students to know everything.
Mystic Aquarium was one of the many employers present. While they do have internship opportunities, according to their website, they only accept one to three interns per semester for each department. They strongly advised students to volunteer if they are interested but are unsure academically of what they would like to do.
At the fair, numerous companies were looking for students who were interested in full-time jobs or summer internships. Non-profit organizations also attended the fair. According to McGuire, they were on the “concourse” of Gampel Pavilion, and were open to students of any major.
One of the non-profit organizations was IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services), which provides services such as housing, in-school tutoring and healthcare coordination to refugees and undocumented immigrants. While their website does not frequently update what jobs are available, students are still encouraged to reach out or apply.
Michelle Gilman, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services, explained that the department provides support for about 34 of the executive branch agencies. Gilman said it was searching for students to talk with and hoped to recruit them for the executive branch agencies. The positions for these agencies ranged from engineering to social work and provide different working environments, whether it be from home, in the office or hybrid. The department was not only recruiting for full-time positions but also internships and fellowships. Gilman noted that some opportunities will be open over the summer.
“We would love to talk to them about the benefits of working for the state, making a difference, making an impact, really engaging in the community,” Gilman said.
Alexis Cortes, a UConn undergraduate and graduate alumnus from 2020 and 2022, attended the fair as an employee from the Department of Administrative Services. Before being an employee for the state of Connecticut, she worked at the Career Center as a student. Cortes expressed that returning to the Spring Career Fair felt bittersweet after having previously worked at the event as a student.
Students could also sign up to get a professional headshot for their LinkedIn profiles. Employers provided free items such as pens, stress balls, sticky notes and more. One employer, North Country Smokehouse, provided samples for students to try their smoked ham.
If you could not attend this semester, there is always a career fair each semester! The UConn Center for Career Development includes up-to-date information on career-related events at career.uconn.edu/events.