While students waited hours last year to try to enter the career fair — with some even sneaking in through elevators across the Statler — students this year were able to breeze into Barton Hall and quickly get in contact with potential future employers.
Rebecca Sparrow, executive director of Cornell Career Services, said that construction at Barton Hall in the fall made last year’s fair atypical. However, this year’s fair was more normal since it was back at Barton.
Career Services was forced to consider other alternatives last year, eventually deciding on the Statler as a result of student polling.
“We had polled the students to see if they would have been willing to go to an event facility at Ithaca College,” Sparrow said. “They were not willing to go over there. So we had no option but to go with the Statler.”
Students and employers alike were appreciative that the event was back to the large space in Barton hall, allowing for more opportunity of discourse and fewer missed classes.
“I’ve been here for an hour and I’ve already spoken to double the people I had spoken to in an hour last year,” said Padraig Lysandrou ’18.
Despite the ample space that Barton offered, Sparrow said she could still see different downsides.
Whereas last year almost all tables had students lined up, this year some of the booths were empty, with students tending to congregate at the tables of well-known companies.
“I feel terrible for [those companies],” Sparrow said. “They are great employers, and students are waiting on these long lines for some of the big names and not speaking to the most excited person in the room about hiring them.”
Reid Wade ’18 said that overall, the process can be intimidating but gets better after practice. As a senior looking back, he noticed how much easier it got from year to year.
“It really is how much experience you have. Going up to people, talking to people, giving your elevator speech when you hand them your resume. Once you have all that down it’s a lot less stressful,” Wade said.
Employers also want to encourage students to know that the career fair should be an enjoyable time.
Rivu Dey ’14, an employee at Pepsico who graduated from Cornell Engineering, went to the career fair as an undergraduate. Now currently working at the other side of the table, he loves getting the chance to meet undergraduates and come back to Ithaca.
“Career Fair is a fun experience,” Dey said. “Especially for freshmen and sophomores, just go for a dry run. You might not find an internship but who knows?”