Career and internship fair attracts nearly 500 students – press room

March 17, 2023

A successful in-person job search event connects students with local businesses and organizations

Posted in: University

The career and internship fair brings potential employers to campus every year to connect with students.

Nearly 500 students and alumni from diverse backgrounds and disciplines attended this year’s Spring Career and Internship Fair to connect with potential employers and improve their networking skills.

The event, hosted by the Center for Career Services in partnership with all colleges and schools, was attended by more than 60 organizations from a variety of industries including healthcare, technology, education, law enforcement and business.

Around 500 students visited this year’s career and internship fair.

“Our main goal is that we hope students will find that there are different opportunities for jobs and internships and we want them to feel empowered in their job search to bring them to a point where they are comfortable and feel prepared for the professional world outside of school,” says Jesica Hauser, University Career Services Program staff member.

As soon as the doors opened on Wednesday, March 16, students poured into the university’s conference center, holding their resumes and dressed in their finest business attire. The air was filled with excitement and nervous energy as students navigated the maze of booths and tables, pausing to chat with recruiters and ask questions about job opportunities and internship programs.

Upon arrival, students and alumni were encouraged to submit their resumes through Hire a Red Hawk, search the employer list and prepare an elevator pitch to connect with potential employers.

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“I think the students seem happy with what we are offering them. They seem super engaged and we try to encourage that before they come, figure out who they want to target and have their points ready,” Hauser said.

Beaming faces at the career and internship fair

For many students, the career and internship fair is a pivotal moment in their academic and professional journey, offering a glimpse of what lies ahead and a chance to make important connections that could shape their future.

“This opportunity is very helpful, especially for people who don’t have a lot of experience in the professional field,” said Brandon Rosario, a senior majoring in nutrition and food science. “When it comes to people in low-income communities like me, I just can’t get enough of it, but Montclair offers so much that it’s a little hard to pin down at times, and just taking that step stool to professionalism is awesome.”

As an added incentive for students, Career Services hired a photographer to take professional portrait photos for their LinkedIn profiles.

“The photos are an overall benefit to me and other college students because I can’t really do something like this at home. It’s great to have such a professional setup that sets me up for success, which is honestly the best opportunity,” said competitor Jordy Rodriguez.

Because Jalisha Vega, a senior specializing in international business, believes that an in-person careers fair makes job hunting that much easier.

“Personally, I think it helps to meet and engage with those who are hiring in person rather than online because online you sometimes go through loops and that can be difficult. The process is lengthy or you may not even be selected for an interview. This is where you can socialize more, drop off your resume and learn more about the job,” Vega said.

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Like Vega, Adam Mayer, the director of University College Career and Academic Programming, emphasized the importance of an in-person networking event for students.

“Number one is the networking element, which is being able to meet employers face-to-face without having to communicate with an employer through an app, their website, or an applicant tracking system. Face-to-face contact, getting business cards, and chatting about opportunities are still the top avenues for getting jobs,” Mayer said.

Most of the employers at the show were looking for career-focused students and alumni who are self-motivated, passionate and eager to learn while helping their businesses grow. Julieta Bingen works for Integrity House, a nonprofit that has helped thousands of people rebuild their lives while recovering from addiction. She described her interest in meeting students and alumni eager to learn and grow in their careers.

“We are looking for candidates who want to grow within a company and gain additional experience in a specific area, such as mental health. When I see a new graduate eager to learn and grow, I feel like companies like ours can really offer a lot of hands-on experience to help those people achieve their career goals,” said Bingen.

Alumni know how to recruit at the Montclair Career and Internship Fair.

Many of the recruiters praised the quality of the Montclair students, citing their enthusiasm, willingness and professional demeanor. Matthew Kyle, recruiter at The Arc of Essex County, a non-profit organization that provides services and support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, explained what he looks for in candidates and noted the professionalism of the students he met at the fair .

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“We’re really looking for people who have passion, determination and a drive to do their best with whatever they’re given, and we know Montclair State’s students have that,” said Kyle.

Dana Castro is a Montclair graduate currently working as an Assistant Property Manager at Urby, a property development and management company focused on building communities and providing more opportunities for residents. Castro expressed her desire to network with students at her alma mater.

“A lot of the students here are really motivated and really know what they want, or when they don’t, they’re always open to looking for something new or exploring their different options, which I really like about coming back here,” says called Castro.

A recruiter distributes information about his company.

As the event ended, Hauser noted the turnout.

“Our goal is for these events to continue to grow every year, and from what I can see, I feel like we’ve really succeeded,” said Hasuer.

Students interested in applying for positions posted at the careers and internship fair should register at Hire a Red Hawk or apply through Handshake.

Story of Rosaria Lo Presti. Photos by John J. LaRosa.