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The Career Fair opens doors for Western’s highly qualified students

The 18th annual Career Fair was held at the O’Neill Center on April 10 on the Westside Campus. Sixty-one employers from the region were visited by more than 500 students and alumni who had the chance to practice professionalism and learn about opportunities within the workforce.

For years the career fair, hosted by the university’s Career Development Center (CDC), has offered students the opportunity to practice their communication skills and the fundamentals of the job application process. Students are able to network with new companies with whom they may not be familiar and more well-known companies. Many booths are overseen by WCSU alumni who work for the companies, which provides another unique networking experience for our students.

 “The Career Fair was a huge benefit for me because it allowed me to start thinking about the opportunities after graduation and be able to get my name and resume out to so many different companies,” graduating senior Meghan Maroney said.

Non-profits, government agencies and corporate businesses were represented at the Career Fair. Among them were Apple Retail, AmeriCorps and PeaceCorps, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ethan Allen Global, IBM Finance, NBC Universal’s Stamford Media Center, and the Connecticut State Police.

“We want to provide our students with premiere organizations that are looking for employees with a wide range of skills," CDC director Maureen Gernert said. “In the career world, jobs are not always posted or offered by degree, and this gives students exposure with a range of possibilities.”

The Career Fair is successful because of the professional relationships the CDC office has established and because employers seek students from Western as employees.  

“What sets our students apart from other universities is that they have a wide range of experience and maturity,” Gernert said. “Our students are multi-task oriented, organized and have realistic views on the work world. The fact that so many of them are able to work, be a full-time student and sometimes even be a campus leader or community service volunteer is very attractive.”

The CDC, in preparation for the Career Fair, hosted several workshops on how to prepare a resume, what to wear to an interview, how to create a LinkedIn profile, and how to interview successfully. The sessions allowed students to jump- start the career-search process.

“We do these workshops in advance so that students are empowered. We want them to be confident with themselves so that when they go out into the workforce they know what to expect,” Gernert said.

Additionally, through-out the year, the center’s staff work with students to find internships, participate in cooperative learning experiences and find jobs. They cater to WCSU’s diverse population, who arrive at all levels of expertise and from different walks of life.

“I want students that utilize our office and go to the Career Fair to realize that the possibilities are endless when you have the skills and motivation to put yourself out there,” Gernert said. “We will continue to offer tools and help to develop skills so that our students can turn potential into success, and remain in high demand with employers.”

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