September 11, 2000

Help Wanted: Seeking Cornell Students

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For Cornell students looking to find a job after graduation or summer internships, or maybe just grab free giveaways while learning about jobs with many diverse corporations, a series of targeted career fairs will start tomorrow.

The fair encompasses two days of events, all in the multipurpose Ramin room of the Field House. The fair starts with the General Interest Fair tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Following this is the Minority Career Fair from 5:30 p.m to 7 p.m and then the Technology and Engineering portion of the fair on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This year’s fair will include over 300 companies including Fortune 500 companies, dot-coms, government agencies and not-for-profit companies. Karin Ash, Director of Cornell Career Services, said that the fair is not limited to seniors and is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. The combined attendance for both days is usually about 6,000 people.

Most students go in hopes of making contacts with potential employers, handing out resumes and collecting business cards.

“My expectations for the career fair include speaking to representatives from various businesses and learning about their companies and what kind of jobs they offer graduates,” Jennifer Eng ’01 said.

“Based on names of the firms that are coming, it looks like the career fair will mostly benefit those interested in investment banking, finance and consulting,” Eng said.

Jane Levy, The Senior Associate Director of Cornell Career Services, worries that students feel that the Career Fair will not include other career opportunities. In order to provide more options, the General Interest fair will debut this year.

“Its the first time that we are doing this. We don’t want anyone to feel excluded, we hope to be able to de-emphasize technical jobs,” Levy said.

Levy also stressed that the fair does not include all of the services that Cornell offers to students looking to find a job.

“The career fair is highly visible, but falls short of responding to the diversified career aspirations of many Cornell students. Less than a third of Cornell seniors seeking a job following graduation obtain their positions through on-campus recruiting.” Levy said. “The high cost of on-campus career fairs and recruiting, including presentations, receptions, interviews, etc., prohibIts on-campus visits by nearly all but the largest corporations.”

In order to help the other students that may not be able to find their dream career through the fair, Cornell Career Services also offers many services out of their main location in Barnes Hall or from any of the individual colleges’ career offices.

One of the services offered is the Career Interest Profile which allows students to register to receive interest specific e-mails on a variety of career programs and opportunities. Other services include resume and cover letter critiquing, mock interviews, career counseling, a fellowship advising program, a credentials service and a career library in Barnes Hall and the other college career offices.

“I think that they have a lot of resources which can be helpful to students who take the time to search and look through everything. Based on my experience, the staff is friendly and eager to help meet student needs. They guide students but students need to do a lot of the research and planning on their own,” Eng said.

Levy also recommends some alternative approaches to finding a job. She suggests applying to small or mid-size companies through postings and resume referrals. Students can also explore online with The Ivy Plus Virtual Career Fair.

Ash stresses that it is never to early to start planning for a career after graduation. She says students should start looking for summer jobs that point them in a career direction as soon as the summer after their freshman year.

“I was thinking of attending the career fair and going to the career office even though I am only sophomore,” Julie Kluka ’03 said. “I want to make sure that I am headed in the right direction and I think that Cornell Career Services could help to get me on track.”

Ash commented that often students look back and wish that they had started their career search earlier.

Archived article by Katherine Klein