Mingle with employers, make connections at Career Fair

Update your resumé, and iron that blazer hiding in the back of your closet: It’s time to face the future.

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, the Office of Career Development and Placement Assistance will host its annual Fall Career Fair, the largest on-campus recruiting event of the year. 

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Petersen Events Center will bustle with more than 200 employers and 3,000 Pitt students and recent graduates, according to a Student Affairs release. Representatives from various industries and fields of employers will be there, recruiting not only for full-time positions, but also internships and part-time opportunities. Attending companies come from sectors including technology, pharmaceutical, finance, corporate retail and more — notable names include Chevron, Alcoa, Cisco, PepsiCo, PNC Financial Services and AT&T.

Cheryl Finlay, CDPA director, said every student should capitalize on this opportunity, regardless of their year.  

“It’s obviously crucial that seniors entering the job market participate,” Finlay said. “But it’s also important for students considering internships in the spring or summer, or even next year, to be there to meet employers as well.” 

Finlay added that first-year students should also come and familiarize themselves with the networking process. 

“I can’t emphasize enough how essential it is for our students — regardless of their year in school, major or career aspirations — to attend this event,” Finlay said.

CDPA’s Career Fair Prep Week events, which were held last week, supported Finlay’s statement and included a special session devoted to helping international students and a day dedicated to bringing employers in to review engineering students’ resumés.

Still, the most important beneficiaries are seniors looking to enter the job market after they graduate in December or April.

Many students lack “ins” for the industries they want to enter, like industrial engineering major Charlie Sigaud, who sees the Career Fair as the perfect place to make those valuable connections.

“It seems like a good way to get my resumé out and find opportunities I might have missed otherwise,” Sigaud said. 

For David De Leon, a senior majoring in urban studies and political science, this is the first year he’ll be attending as a student, having spent previous years working at the Career Fair. 

De Leon said he’s looking for a career in urban planning and development, hopefully with a non-profit organization or within the government.

“I’m hoping that the career fair will provide me with a better understanding of the companies and organizations whose work align with my career aspirations,” De Leon said.

Karen Lue, a senior majoring in history of art and architecture and economics, will attend Wednesday, looking to gain work experience for a gap year before she enters graduate school.

Lue said she hopes to one day occupy an administrative position at a museum, but she’s interested in any job that involves creativity and active community engagement.

“I’m hoping that the Career Fair will present me with options I hadn’t thought of previously, open my eyes to intersecting fields and introduce me to progressive companies that are looking to hire people with different skill sets,” Lue said.

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