Students can count on the Cahill Career Center to find opportunities for networking and internships. One of these opportunities is the yearly career fair in the Bradley Center.
This year’s fair had over 90 visiting companies ready to meet students and give them the opportunity to make connections they might not have made elsewhere. Being able to speak in-person with a company before even applying can be a major step-up in many processes.
“The biggest opportunity that we have here is networking with employers,” said Nicole Videla, an assistant director in the Career Center. “We all write our resumes, we all talk about getting jobs, we all do all of these things to prepare ourselves for the job search process, but this is really getting students in the room with the different alumni that are here and the employers, introducing themselves, getting to know them.”
Students were given the chance to introduce themselves to major companies like NBC, Volvo, The Human Rights Campaign and more. Getting face-to-face time is an invaluable resource to career development.
“I had an alumni… He said, ‘I remember coming to the career fair, and now I work for this organization,’” Videla said about an alum who was present as a company representative.
Some students may think the career fair has nothing to offer them, and that careers for their major will not be present. In actuality, the fair offered organizations with positions that span across all five of Ramapo’s schools.
“For me, as a [Theoretical and Applied Sciences] major, what I found when I came out here is that there are a lot more opportunities than people think,” said Autumn Laird, a sophomore biology student.
Laird said she was especially excited to have an opportunity to speak with GENEWIZ, a company which works with genetic sequencing.
“It’s really hard to get person-to-person contact with these people,” she said. “Instead of applying online and just sending a resume online, I’m actually able to talk to these people face to face.”
Science majors are not the only ones whose school had more opportunities than they may have thought. Senior Global Communications major Astrid Gamarra spoke about how easy the career fair made it to get time with major companies.
“I actually have gotten interviews and internships from this career fair,” she said, having attended last year as well. “It’s definitely very nerve-wracking, because it’s almost like you’re interviewing and leaving an imprint amongst them, and hundreds of students are going to be here.”
The career fair is just as important for companies visiting, as they are given the opportunity to meet potential interns and possibe future full-time employees.
“Be open to everything you see, you never know what's out there,” said Antonella Caruso, a Ramapo Alumna who works for NBC Universal as a manager of on-air operations in the network operations center. “A lot of times, you think you know exactly what you want to do, and it’s ok to take a chance on something that is close to what you want to do.”
No matter what a student's goal or desired career is, the career fair is a great opportunity for Ramapo students to practice interviewing and networking. With the range of companies present, it is impossible to know what kind of doors may be opened by talking to a company.
Ramapo provides the special opportunity for students to make connections because of its community, as many representatives were alumni.
“There’s something about Ramapo I see, from people that come back, and they’re just so happy,” Videla said. “Especially with the employers, they’re very happy to come back and talk to everybody and new students.”