Students explore potential networking and career opportunities at design career fair

The business, industry and technology career fair took place on Feb. 12. Students attended and spoke to different employers in search for full and part-time positions.

Arabella Hau

Students in design made networking connections while exploring potential job and internship opportunities at the spring Design Career Fair on Thursday.

The career fair went from noon to 5 p.m in the Scheman Building, hosting around 115 businesses and organizations.

At the career fair, students had the opportunity to find jobs and internships for the summer or the upcoming school year. Many students attended the fair without the intention of obtaining positions as well, but to simply connect with employers and possibly acquire career advice.

Students find there is a lot that goes into preparing for the career fair, including both the preparation of resumes and previewing CyHire prior to attending the fair to get an idea of who they may want to spend their time speaking to. As design students, bringing along portfolios of work is also commonly recommended.

“I got my portfolio together,” said Timothy Van Rheenen, senior in interdisciplinary design. “I decided what I thought best represented who I am as a designer and put it all together, I got my resume ready and then did research on what companies were coming here so I kinda had some background on the companies I was going to talk to so I could make conversation and ask them questions.”

Peiming Chen, graduate student in landscape architecture, is planning on graduating this semester and emphasized the importance of being prepared ahead of time as well. At the fair, Chen said he was hoping to take a step closer to landing a full-time job for the summer.

“I did research on CyHire, I know about the firms and am going to visit the ones that I am interested in to get to know their opening positions and the general info of the company, and I will make a list,” Chen said. “I have prepared several hard copies of my resume, a hard copy portfolio and I also have my tablet with me to show my website.”

Chen said his portfolio consists of four or five projects that demonstrate skills in different design categories, and his website goes into further depth about the details of his work to prevent employers from flipping through pages while viewing his portfolio.

Once at the fair, the students were also provided with a map including a list of employers to help them locate the businesses and their stands. This was popular among the students, as almost all of them could be seen with maps in hand.

Van Rheenen mentioned this was useful to his experience as well.

“There’s definitely a few on the list that I didn’t realize beforehand that I’ll talk to to see what they’re all about,” Van Rheenen said.

The importance of CyHire among both students and employees was made evident at the fair as well. One group of students shuffled to research employers on the provided list while at the fair, as they hadn’t utilized CyHire prior to their arrival.

On the other side of the table, one employer in his first year of involvement at the Design Career Fair brought up the disadvantage he felt he had compared to the other companies because of their lack of presence on CyHire.

“You see a lot of students walking around with an app, going to specific places that they’re interested in,” said Mike Neswick of MRL Architects. “I thought there’d be a lot more walk-by traffic and that they’d just want to talk to any of the [architects].”