January 6, 2010

Recruiting in Times Square

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Jan. 6, 2010

Never before have I spoken to so many people in one day. Today, I assisted Leila Bailey-Stewart, the national recruitment manager, and Diana Vining, the recruitment outreach manager, at the Career and Internship Connections event at the American Management Association Conference Center in Times Square, NYC.

The University of Rochester sponsored the event, which over 40 employers and 16 colleges attended. “Events like this are very important for putting City Year as a non-profit in a room with employers that college grads want to apply to,” Leila explained, “so it’s great to have people walking up to our tables the same way they walk up to Targets, for example.”

The day began at the 9 a.m. check in. I met with Diana and Leila and set up our table (that we decked out with a sleek City Year table cloth and cool swag for students) in a small room with eight other employers.

After set-up, the students started to circle the different tables. At first, maybe 10 people leaked into the room, but after a half hour or so, the small room became jam packed with young students all eager for a connection or a contact with an employer.

In the beginning, I was hesitant to answer questions about City Year to students because not only did I not have much experience at City Year, but I also have never been to a job fair so it was very strange to be on the employer side of my first one. However, I was well prepared and felt very proud to be representing such a great organization.

Students came and went as employers around the room talked a mile a minute. It was a high-energy morning and very interesting to see recruitment teams doing what they do best.

The second half of the day was dedicated to interviews. 10 or so candidates got 20-30 minutes of one-on-one time with Leila and Diana to discuss their resumes more in-depth and to learn more about the City Year program.

I got to meet the interviewees to answer any questions or to clarify anything before they met with Leila and Diana. It was nice talking to the students, who were mostly seniors in college, about their desired career and their experience in college. It made me realize how quickly time flies. Just yesterday I was looking at where I wanted to go to college and now I’m almost halfway through my Cornell journey!

The greatest part of the day was spending time with Leila and Diana. These women are such role models. They are personable, engaging and so much fun to work with. Both Leila and Diana have done a City Year and then became staff members. Now, they are vital members of the City Year organization.

Yesterday, Diana had explained how the personality of an organization comes out during recruitment and I realized this statement couldn’t be more true. Leila and Diana perfectly encompass what City Year is and I couldn’t be more proud to stand beside them today to assist at this event.

Original Author: Samantha Padilla