By Gabrielle Beacken
Many of the College’s students graduate with three summers of “solid internship experience,” according to Steven Schreiner, dean of the School of Engineering. And whether a student is a rising sophomore or a senior about to graduate, Schreiner said finding internships is always possible.
“Students who look do find opportunities,” Schreiner said. “I encourage all students to seek internships.”
Sharply dressed students quickly filled the Recreational Center on Friday, Feb. 27, as the College hosted its spring semester Career Fair, allowing students to interact with professionals of a variety of fields and discuss job and internship opportunities.
“It’s important to understand what the marketplace is like,” Allstate Insurance Corporation associate Normeba Lane said. “Especially for graduating seniors.”
According to Lane, it’s important for companies to understand what students are looking for in an employer.
“New graduates bring a new perspective to the company,” Lane said. “It’s important to have that relationship.”
According to junior interdisciplinary business major Ryan Quindlen, it’s “pretty fun” that, while you’re trying to impress employers, they are trying to impress you, too. Quindlen found several companies that stood out to him while searching for marketing internships, such as Enterprise, Target and Johnson & Johnson.
Allstate is looking for “young, nice, talented and educated undergraduates,” according to Lane. Companies such as Unum insurance and CohnReznick, an accounting and tax advisory company, are also looking for “motivated” individuals.
“We’re looking for a young, determined and motivated individual looking for success,” Unum representative Ariella Faccas said. “We’ve met a lot of very qualified, intelligent students … (We’re) very impressed.”
Two alumni who currently work with WithumSmith+Brown accounting firm were also impressed with the College’s students.
“We met a lot of great kids,” said Elizabeth Schullstrom, a WithumSmith+Brown associate from the company’s New Brunswick location. “We had nice conversations, and students had great questions.”
CohnReznick June Summer Leadership Program is looking for students “that are motivated, open-minded and are able to grow and develop,” according to Lindsay Infield, its human resources specialist.
“It’s a great way to introduce (students) to the world of accounting — to a top 10 firm.”
Johnson & Johnson, a healthcare company based in New Jersey, is looking for student candidates for its co-op program.
“We’re looking at a variety of majors with strong leadership experience and for someone who’s really passionate about J & J,” Johnson & Johnson representative Amanda Spicker said. “It’s great to see everybody here today coming out.”
The College’s Career Fair is valued by not only potential employers, but especially by the students in attendance.
“The Career Fair presents great opportunities for students to find internships and job opportunities in students’ areas of study,” sophomore biology major Kate Kearns said. “(The College) did a great job getting a range of employers coming together.”
Schreiner agrees with Kearns, but said that the range of companies can always be increased.
“We work with the Career Center to continuously increase the presence of companies on campus,” Schreiner said.
Students from all years submitted their resumes to potential employers at the fair, hoping to land a job or internship opportunity.
First-time Career Fair attendee, junior nursing major Christian Dy, was pleased he went to the event, even though it was “a little overwhelming.” Striving to become a military nurse, Dy was able to communicate with the U.S. Army booth, even though there were not many booths directed toward nursing, according to Dy.
Looking for a summer internship, this was also sophomore finance major Kurmaine May’s first Career Fair.
“I’m looking for a good place to start off,” May said. “It’s not what I expected, but I’m glad I found out.”
The younger the students start coming to the Career Fair, the better, according to Mike Holyoak, senior radio frequency architect at LGS Innovations. Holyoak, who is “looking for the best and brightest engineers” to fill LGS’s internship position, told students not to be discouraged if they don’t receive their desired position.
“Even if you don’t get anything, make relationships with the person at the company,” Holyoak said.
Networking with professionals and building relationships is very important, according to Schreiner.
“Today I spoke with a recent alumnus who returned to recruit more TCNJ engineers,” Schreiner said. “He was taken aside at a TCNJ Career Fair for an on-the-spot interview, which landed him his position. Career Fairs can be powerful, (and) I absolutely encourage students of all levels to come.”