Representatives from 20 of the largest and most respected local healthcare organizations came together to meet with students and collect resumes on Dec. 13 during Brookdale’s biannual Healthcare Career Opportunities Day in Lincroft.
The free event, sponsored by Continuing and Professional Studies (CPS), allowed Brookdale healthcare students and alumni to meet one-on-one with Monmouth County employers and apply for positions at a wide variety of local hospitals, treatment centers, senior living facilities, medical billing offices, pharmacies and more. Attendees were also treated to free lunch, refreshments and a CPS prize raffle.
“It was a great opportunity for me, which is why I made it a priority to be here today,” said incoming nursing student Kenya Rosario, who attended the job fair shortly after completing her final skills test in Brookdale’s Certified Nurse Aid (CNA) program.
“I want to get my foot in the door in the medical field and begin working part-time while I complete the nursing program, so it was perfect for me to be able to meet face-to-face with employers and learn about the different paths available to me.”
In addition to accepting resumes and discussing available job openings, recruitment professionals were available to provide overviews of various career paths and answer student questions about required experience, credentials and professional skills. A number of employers, such as Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, also promoted a variety of internship opportunities, practical training programs and other services offered in partnership with Brookdale.
“We take away a lot of great resumes from these events and we end up hiring a lot of great candidates from Brookdale,” said Monmouth Medical Center recruiter Kaitlyn Bannon. “A lot of the Patient Care Technician (PCT) students, for example, actually complete their clinical training at Monmouth Medical Center. So when they graduate and begin looking for jobs, we know they have already worked with the key players and they have that valuable first-hand experience with us.”
According to Brookdale job placement specialist Gregory Menza, CPS staff work to organize the career fair near the end of the fall and spring semesters, when students are preparing to complete their training and enter the workforce.
The event continues to grow each year, he said, adding new employer partners and reaching a wider range of students.
This year, for example, the fair featured representatives from the new Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Middletown, and was open to graduates of college’s Business Office Support Specialist (BOSS) certification program.
“It has proven to be very successful,” said Menza. “There is no replacement for meeting face-to-face. Even when I go into classrooms to speak with students about interviewing and resume writing, I encourage them to get off the computer a little bit. If there is an employer they have set their sights on, I encourage them to walk in with a resume and introduce themselves. That’s how you get a job. So the opportunity for them to come here and meet face-to-face with 20 employers in one afternoon, is tremendous.”
For Rosario, who is attempting to break into healthcare after working for years in an unrelated field, the career fair was a valuable first step.
“One-on-one interaction is so important,” she said. “You can get a feel for what different employers are looking for, you can ask questions about the facility and see how interested they are in you as an applicant. In the past I had thought about home health aid as a possibility, and I found a facility today that actually offers a program to transfer from CNA to home health aid. It’s great to know that route is available to me.”
Represented employers included: Allaire Rehab & Nursing; Bayada; Brandywine Senior Living; CentraState Healthcare System; Community Medical Center; Allied Dental; J&S Stark Billing & Consulting; VNA Health Group; Hackesnsack Meridian Health; HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Tinton Falls; Monmouth Medical Center; IPPC Pharmacy; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Meridian Nursing and Rehabilitation; Physicians Practice Enhancement; Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services; Seabrook; Star Pediatrics; and Sunrise Senior Living.
Learn more about Brookdale’s healthcare training programs here.
Check out more photos from the Fall 2017 Healthcare Career Opportunities Day here.