St. John’s annual Career Week kicked off September 28th with a Block Party on Carnesecca Plaza.
The week consisted of a series of events designed to give University students an edge when entering the competitive job market. Different workshops and events that dealt with all aspects of the job application process were scheduled to happen throughout the week.
A workshop on techniques to remember when interviewing was also held that Tuesday. On Wednesday, students could walk into the Career Center and have their resumes reviewed by staff members, while students in the medical field could attend a workshop specialized just for them.
For many students, the highlight of the fair was the Academic Internship Fair held last Thursday in Taffner Field House. Students had the opportunity to formally meet representatives from over 100 organizations and get an idea of what kind of real world experience is available to them.
Career areas represented included business, computer sciences, homeland security and TV and Film. During the fair, companies gave students a more specific idea of what they looked for in terms of each applicants interests, skills, and majors.
Senior Lesley Williams, a communications major, explained how students could go a step beyond simply submitting a resume. She also said encouraged students to take a moment and speak directly with company representatives to make sure of a lasting impression.
“I got to verbalize my highlights on my resume,” Williams said. “When you just see a resume sometimes people forget about it but actually talking to them about my strengths—it was good.”
Many students found the fair to be incredibly helpful in the search to start networking. Graduate student Sally Zhang, a risk management major, also took the time to check out her options.
“It’s a good opportunity to not only see the companies but also learn the realities of these careers,” she said. “Just searching on the Internet is a lot of information, but here, it’s more objective.”
Suzanne Hardie, assistant director of Employment for New York Hospital Queens described the fair as a success.
“[The fair was] a win-win situation with the students,” she said. “They really benefit from the internship program and we find that they’re really bright and motivated.”
According to Hardie, the hospital has many opportunities available for students that often lead to job opportunities after graduation.
Some popular tables included Disney College, MTV Networks, and Likeable Media, a social media organization that offers lots of training to students. Likeable Media said that he worry of having “experience” is virtually eliminated.
Many of the representatives made it so that students felt comfortable approaching them about prospective positions. Several students felt free to ask how each representative personally felt about where they work and what they like about their organization, allowing them to get a more realistic idea of what could possibly be ahead of them.
Williams also considered the fair a success.
“There were a lot of employers here [geared toward] my major,” she said. “Hopefully they remember me and hopefully they email me back!”
There were several other workshops over the week that led up to the culmination, the Fall Career Fair. Employers for all different companies came out to the University Tuesday to talk to students and alumni about potential positions. Several companies were present at both fairs during the week because of the strong impression St. John’s students have made.
“We like coming to St. John’s because you guys are so well-prepared for these things,” said a representative from Universal Media Group. “You know what questions to ask and it’s very professional.”
Students were given yet another opportunity to network with potential employers and get their resumes out there. Sophomore Melanie Balousek felt that the event was very professional and a great opportunity.
“It was very beneficial for students who wanted to start networking,” she said. “It was really well-organized and there were a lot of well-known names that were represented.”
Balousek felt that she, a business management major, had an opportunity to get a lot out of the event.
“If I did have my resume,” she said, “I definitely would have been able to give it out to a great number of people.”
Some students see the career fair as a strong reminder of what is facing them once they graduate from St. John’s and have to go out into the real world. For Ella Soltz, a sophomore, the Career Fair came as a bit of a shock. As an actuarial science major, she now feels somewhat unprepared for what awaits her.
“It was somewhat of a reality check,” she said. “Although there were hundreds of companies, opportunities seemed slim for my specific field.”
Additional reporting by Nell O’Connor.