In the finale to this year’s Career and Internship Week, Brookdale’s Career Services division partnered with the ALPFA student business club on March 26 to host the second annual Career and Internship Fair.
More than 70 local and national employers participated in the event, offering internships and part- and full-time career opportunities to students in a wide range of disciplines.
Josephine DePinto, senior recruiter for multi-billion dollar technology company CDW, said she was hoping to find quality candidates to fill a number of open positions.
“We had the best year in the history of our company last year, and we are always looking to recruit new, talented employees,” DePinto said. “And Brookdale is literally 15 minutes from our office, so it makes a lot of sense for us to come here.”
From industry giants like Prudential and Nordstrom to area nonprofits like the the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, employer representatives were available to answer questions about their organization or about specific career fields available to today’s college graduates.
“It’s been great to see and talk to employers, and learn what they are looking for in employees,” said Brookdale student Jeff Rich, who said he is considering switching his major from mechanical engineering to environmental engineering.
“I was able to talk to a lot of conservation organizations, and that definitely has me interested … This has been really helpful.”
According to Sarah McElroy, director of career services at Brookdale, internships and other co-curricular career opportunities are vital tools for today’s college student. In addition to gaining valuable tools and experience in their chosen field of study, interns are able to get their proverbial foot in the door in an increasingly competitive job market.
“We really want students to begin thinking about internships early. Ideally, we’d like all students in their second year to complete one,” said McElroy. “That’s how students will be able to network with employers, and that’s one of best ways to eventually get a full-time job.”
According to McElroy, close to 90 percent of American college graduates ultimately land a job through an internship or a network built through a hands-on career opportunity. Internships also allow students to experience potential careers in much more in-depth way.
“If you’re a nursing student, for example, talking about injuries in class and actually seeing those injuries in person is totally different,” McElroy said. “A lot of times that experience will either solidify somebody’s career path or change it. We believe both of those are positive outcomes, especially while you’re still in college.”
Lindsay McNamara, communications coordinator for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation, said interns in the nonprofit sector and other industries are becoming increasingly valuable in today’s job market, able to take on a wide range of roles and responsibilities.
“Many nonprofits are pressed for time and staff, and they may need help with anything from communications and fundraising to scheduling or events planning,” she said. “It’s always helpful to bring an intern in that can cover all the bases, and because of that they get a really hands-on experience.”
To learn more about careers and internship opportunities at Brookdale, contact Career Services at 732-224-2792 or visit their webpage.
Check out more photos of the Career and Internship Fair here.