SICE students pursue their dreams at Spring Career Fair
Students took important steps down their personal career paths during the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering’s annual Spring Career Fair at the Bloomington Convention Center Jan. 25.
More than 750 students in pursuit of full-time employment and internships had the opportunity to meet with 61 companies, all while gaining the network connections and experience that will help the students make the vision of their future come true. Ellen Rodkey, the senior associate director of career services at SICE and an organizer for the event, says employers were impressed by what they saw.
“We got great feedback about our students,” Rodkey said. “I’ve had more than one employer say this is their favorite fair they attend because our students are well-prepared and have solid resumes. They’re also surprised by how much our students are doing outside of the classroom, which is exactly what they want to see.”
Sheila Petersen, a university recruiter at DXC Technology in South Carolina, was blown away by the candidates she spoke to during the fair.
“IU is my new favorite school,” Petersen said. “I could have left two hours after I got here having found people for all of our positions. The students were really prepared. We’re hiring consultants, and these students are personable and really present well.”
Caleb Schaftlein, a junior majoring in informatics, spent the career fair looking for an internship. He had attended the career fair in the past, and he took a relaxed approach in talking to the potential employers while also highlighting some of his practical experience. He began an Instagram feed to highlight his photography six years ago, and 425,000 followers later, the effort has spawned a website and a business selling camera straps. Schaftlein was hoping to use that work in building a social media following to find a career path in branding.
“I’ve developed my own website, and it has given me an avenue to open a shop,” Schaftlein said. “I think that experience, coupled with my classroom work, will help make me more attractive to employers who are looking to build their social media presence.”
James Dora, a senior in informatics, appreciated the opportunity to meet in person with potential employers in a casual setting.
“It’s nice that I’m not on the internet and hunting down a job all day,” Dora said. “I can come here and talk to people face-to-face, and it allows me to get my resume out there while also getting my questions answered. I can learn more about each company, and that’s really nice.”
The personal touch appealed to Sreekar Antharan, a sophomore computer science major who hopes to someday become a data analyst or IT professional.
“I’ve read that more than 90 percent of jobs that you apply to online don’t even get looked at,” Antharan said. “I feel like you get a face-to-face chance to connect with all the companies that come, and I think that makes a difference. It’s a great opportunity for all the students.”
Finding your comfort level is the key to success at the career fair. Madeline Thompson, a junior in informatics, attended the Fall Career Fair and turned the lessons learned there into better preparation this time around.
“I was really nervous for the Fall Career Fair because I thought it was going to be more one-on-one oriented,” Thompson said. “This time, I’m a lot more comfortable and know what questions to ask. I just enjoy it a lot more because it’s a conversational situation and not like a real interview.”
Freshman Dan Mishler, who is majoring in intelligent systems engineering, was attending his first career fair. He was looking at the event as an opportunity to network.
“I’m more concerned with talking to people and connecting with them to talk to later,” Mishler said. “I like to highlight some of the undergraduate research projects I’ve been working on, and it will help me build experience for when I become more serious about my career.”
SICE’s new Luddy Hall garnered its own attention at the fair.
“There was a lot of buzz about Luddy Hall among the employers,” Rodkey said. “Some employers visited after the fair, and we had one employer reschedule their interviews to have the opportunity to come to Luddy Hall.”
SICE Dean Raj Acharya said the event showcased the best of the School.
“The career fair is critical to the success of our students,” Acharya said. “From the hard work the staff does in organizing the event to the determination of our students to be best prepared, the career fair is an opportunity to show what can be achieved when so many people work toward a common goal.”
SICE students will can start preparing now for the next career fair, scheduled for early September. For more information about career services at SICE, visit their website.
Phone: (812) 856-6908