Each semester, the University offers undergraduate students from all colleges the opportunity to network with recruiters during career fairs. The Fall Career Fair, held on Sept. 9, allowed Villanovans to interact with a robust array of companies.
Students registered on Handshake and signed up for individual or group sessions with the companies of their choice. There was something for everyone this year, from finance to politics to medicine. The sessions provided information about internships, careers and various program opportunities. The fair remained in an online format, as it was held last year.
“This year, many employers faced travel restrictions and weren’t permitted to visit campuses to meet students in a more traditional, in-person career fair environment,” said Kate Szumanski, Director of Professional Development in the Office for Undergraduate Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “It is important that we at Villanova continue to support our students and help them adapt to these changes so that they aren’t surprised by them and underprepared as a result.”
While Szumanski sees potential obstacles posed by the online format and says that “communicating through a screen as opposed to in person can be a barrier to connecting in meaningful ways,” she believes that “preparation is key” and thinks students still benefit by attending.
She also notes that undecided career paths shouldn’t stop students from attending the fairs.
“I don’t want students to miss out on the wonderful opportunities that our career fairs bring,” Szumanski said. “The act of participating in an informed, prepared way allows students to possibly refine their career goals, make connections, and learn more about the hiring landscape.”
Many students found the fair incredibly useful and used the format to their advantage.
“Attending the virtual career fair instead of an in-person fair allowed me to talk to recruiters with convenience and ease,” junior Hanna Cho said.
As a Political Science major, Cho took advantage of the variety, opting to attend sessions for several different industries.
“It was great to learn more about employers hiring at Villanova,” she said. “I felt much more confident going into this year’s sessions.”
Szumanski believes that each fair offers a worthwhile venue for inquiry. She emphasizes it as an opportunity to engage and ask meaningful questions. She also notes that the fair isn’t limited to upperclassmen, encouraging “First-year students, sophomores, juniors and seniors [to] engage fully every time there’s an opportunity.”
“Students seeking internships, entry-level jobs, connections, or simply more information about companies, organizations and their lines of business will find those and more at the career fairs,” Szumanski said. “What matters are the skills that our students develop and strengthen as a result of their attendance and participation.”