More than 700 students networked with potential employers during the Spring Career Fair.
They came dressed for success, holding resumes that had been poured over, polished, then analyzed again, dreaming of their future.
More than 720 students from the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering gathered at the Monroe Convention Center for the Spring Career Fair Jan. 29 hoping the find their dream job or build experiences that will send them on a bright career path. Students looking for full-time employment, internships, or networking opportunities enjoyed face-to-face meetings with potential employers and enjoyed the chance to learn more about technology.
“It was great seeing students make so many connections and get such good exposure,” said Senior Associate Director of Career Services Carleigh Hannon, one of the organizers of the event. “We also saw more younger students, which is something the employers liked. They were impressed with the students and the level of questions they were asking. Everyone really enjoyed the fair.”
The Spring Career Fair was part of a suite of events that included HCI/d Connect, which provided graduate students in Luddy’s Human-Computer Interaction/design program a chance to meet with a group of employers who were specifically recruiting from the field, as well as the Luddy Career Jumpstart, which was designed to give freshmen and sophomores the opportunity to engage in the recruiting process while gaining experience in a career fair setting.
Employers were impressed by the backgrounds of the candidates from Luddy.
“We’re in the consulting world, and we’re always in front of clients,” said Jordanna Glatter, the University Recruiting Team leader for Grant Thornton. “We’re looking for people who have good communication skills and can think outside of the box. The Luddy School does a great job of prepping the students for the real world. We train them on what they need to know, but the students seem to have a really good background coming in. IU students and students from the Luddy School have proven to be great fits at our company.”
Evelyn Myers, a Human Resources generalist for Cook Medical, came to the fair looking for candidates who blended classroom know-how with soft skills.
“We want to have a good technical skillset, but I’m not as worried about that at this point,” Myers said. “We’ll have time to get to that. I came here looking for a good conversation, someone who is clear on what they’re looking for in their career at this point and how they believe our company can help them along that path whether they’re just getting into the job market through internships or ready to begin their career.”
The reputation of the Luddy School is what drew Jake Scheller, an early talent recruiter for Kohl’s, to the career fair.
“The informatics program here is world-renowned, and the student understand both the technical side of things and how important communication truly is in the business world,” Scheller said. “We like the opportunity to find future leaders within technology and be able to grow and develop those long-lasting relationships with the best candidates.”
Blake Smith, a team lead cybersecurity analyst with Sophos, came to Bloomington looking for a different trait.
“Personality and puzzle solving are really important in our business,” Smith said. “We work in an open environment, and we want people who are self-motivated and track things down on their own while solving puzzles. Some people just have an innate ability to want to find the answers, and we need that attitude in cybersecurity.”
The students, meanwhile, came to the career fair with varying agendas of their own. Noah Osip, a senior in informatics, was looking for a full-time job, but that wasn’t his only goal.
“I hope to find a little more insight on the potential careers for my right out of school,” Osip said. “A lot of times, you hear more information about mid-career level jobs in the field, and that’s what people are aiming for. I’m interested in talking to the recruiters because they tend to be younger, and they tell their stories about their roles in the companies. It gives me a better picture of what I can expect when I’m just beginning a job.”
Jacob Mauro, a sophomore in computer science, was attending his third career fair. He learned the process of networking during his previous visits in past semesters, and he felt more prepared to talk to recruiters.
“I’m hoping to find a summer opportunity here,” Mauro said. “It can be a three-to-five day workshop in a leadership program, or it can be a summer internship. It’s all about having a conversation with the recruiter and being confident. I know there might not be a lot of opportunities for second-year college students, but entry-level internships or leadership programs will really help me built my resume.”
Freshman Allie Godfrey, an intelligent systems engineering major, spoke to recruiters at the Jumpstart event. She was focused on building her network.
“I want to package myself and talk to companies,” Godfrey said. “This is really helpful for young students, and it’s kind of like a shortcut to finding jobs, networking, and finding internships. I’m just starting my college career, but it’s helpful to get experience here so that when I’m a junior or senior, I’ll be more prepared.”
Juheui Lee, a senior in informatics, used resources from the Luddy Career Services office to polish her resume, and she was thankful the school put on the event.
“I went to some meetings in the career services office and updated my resume,” Lee said. “It was great preparation for me before talking to recruiters. I learned so much about what to expect, and I’m thankful they could help me.”
This was the first year in which the dress code was set at business casual, opening the career fair for a wider range of students.
“We want students to have as much access to the employers as they can,” Hannon said. “Most students wore their best anyway, but the employers loved the format and the feel of the fair.”
Ultimately, the career fair is about taking the first steps toward a student finding his or her dream job. Andrew Novak, a sophomore in informatics, wasn’t exactly sure what that job would look like, but he was excited to explore.
“It’s a good question,” Novak said. “I’m here to find it.”