Fall Career Fair returns to connect students with employers


Illustration by Eliana Storkamp

Northwestern Career Advancement scheduled programming across two days, with Wednesday featuring full-time jobs and Thursday promoting internship opportunities.

Charlotte Ehrlich, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern Career Advancement hosted its annual Fall Career Fair Wednesday and Thursday on Handshake, creating a virtual space for employers and students to connect.

NCA scheduled programming across two days, with Wednesday featuring full-time jobs and Thursday promoting internship opportunities. Both days offered a similar format: students could sign up for information sessions and one-on-one conversations with employers.

NCA’s Associate Director of Operations Mary Madormo said NCA ensured the fair’s offerings reflected NU’s academic diversity.

“It’s very much an urban legend that there’s only a few types of industries that are represented at the career fair,” Madormo said. “We work really, really hard to make sure that students see themselves and their career interests represented in the attendees at the career fair.”

Medill junior Jake Mozarsky said he found it helpful that the fair allowed students to focus on class in the morning and find career opportunities across fields in the afternoon. 

Mozarsky attended sessions for both NU Athletics and a market research firm as part of his search for a public relations opportunity.

“The fair was definitely worth it,” Mozarsky said. “Northwestern does a really good job setting us up and getting us on our way.” 

NCA decided to host the Fall Fair virtually again this year after reviewing survey comments from past attendees, according to Geni Harclerode, director of employer recruitment and engagement for NCA.

Anticipating a record-high attendance rate, NCA gathered nearly 100 employers to register for each day, she said.

“The format means that students don’t have to wait in lines because they can sign up for slots in advance,” Harclerode said. “They can speak to organizations that they want to prioritize.”

NCA also plans to host several in-person opportunities for students. Last week, the office hosted a smaller fair focused on consulting that featured 20 different companies, she said.

Harclerode said NCA will continue to provide hybrid programming even as the University relaxes COVID-19 protocols, as both employers and students appreciate its flexibility.

“Employers we’re working with are looking to do a little bit of both,” Harclerode said. “They want to connect with students in person where it’s going to feel like it’s high-impact, whereas (others are) looking for opportunities to use the virtual platform when talking to more students.”

Since the pandemic, NCA has experimented with multiple event modalities. Regardless, Madormo said NCA’s events lead to fruitful conversations and connections between students and employers.

She said NCA receives thank-you notes yearly from employers who comment on NU students’ professionalism.

For students like Mozarsky, who transferred to NU because he felt a lack of support at his previous school, he said the Career Fair shows the University is making a personal investment in students’ futures. 

“It definitely feels good to be supported, and it’s easy to see how much they care about us students,” Mozarsky said. “It’s pretty cool to feel valued in this way.”

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Twitter: @charlottehrlich

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