By Andres Rojas, Class of 2017
Photos by Kevin Colon, Harvey Cruz
From student-athletes ready for practice to students ready to face the real world, from sweaty t-shirts to well trimmed suits, The Yanitelli Center had a change of scenery and visitors.
“Vast majority of our student look amazing, very professional ready for the career fair,” said Saint Peter’s University professor of business and marketing Mary Kate Naatus.
Sixty-six employers attended the Spring 2016 Career & Internship Fair held at the Yanitelli Life Recreational Center at Saint Peter’s University on April 7th.
Laura Pakhmanov , Executive director for the Center for Career Engagement & Experiential Learning (CEEL), helped organize the fair.
“We usually like to have a pretty good representation across all majors, so we have several schools recruiting here for education major, a lot for business majors, we have some hospitals, and some medical facilities for health care majors,” Pakhmanov said. “We are trying to get a good sampling from all different types of industries to present students a variety of different opportunities.”
The general belief for students is that the career fair has not done a good job in covering all majors, therefore affecting the student turnout in this event.
“I am not going this year. I went last year and I could not find any jobs related to my majors,” said junior and physics major Edwin Rivas the day before of the career fair.
But this year was different according to the organizers of the event and students that attended.
“They usually don’t have a lot of companies interested in biology majors but the few companies they had were good,” biology major senior Hugo Lima said. “In a way they have improved every year, there is like a little bit more involvement with biology and other majors that usually can´t find careers opportunities. This career fair had four or five employers related to my major, normally they have about one or two.”
Marketing and psychology major Elena Melian said, “There is a mixture of everything. There is a lot of companies for marketing and a few for psychology but they are really interesting so that compensates it, however I haven’t found a big difference with previous career fairs,”
Professor Naatus shares a similar opinion on the expansion of job opportunities.
“I can say that is the first time I notice several organizations looking for health and science majors. A bunch of nursing professors just walked in and said, ´there are a lot of people here looking for nurses, I think it’s the first time.´”
Many said, the organization of this career fair has surpassed previous fairs at Saint Peter’s University.
The U.S. economy is also relatively stable. In March 2016 the unemployment rate was only 5.0% according to the U.S. Department of Labor in comparison to the 5.5% of the previous year. This means that there are more potential jobs available for students.
“Every career fair has its unique features,” said the Director of CEEL, Crescenzo Fonzo. “We are always building the career fair and seeking new avenues for students.”
For junior business management major and mathematics minor Claudia Hellman, the organization of the career fair was one of the main improvements.
“The way the career fair is organized has improved, because there is a section for each department; education, nursing, law enforcement, accounting, business, and criminal justice,” says Hellman. “It is a good thing that it is clear. Depending on your major you know where to focus on.”
The fair is not the only thing that has improved, the students have as well.
For Mariseli Gonzales, an agent for BCB Community Bank who has attended six career fairs at Saint Peter’s University thus far, said the applicants have improved their personal skills.
“I have seen a lot of candidates that were here previously and they are very prepared this year. I can tell that they are really learning and eager to work,” says Gonzales. “Every year it just keeps improving.”