Smith School Holds Annual Undergraduate Career Fair
September, more than 600 undergraduate students and 61 firms packed the Riggs
Alumni Center for the 2010 Robert H. Smith School of Business Undergraduate
Saad Yaldram ’12 has been preparing for this day for weeks. When he’s not researching
firms, he is role playing behavioral and case interviews with classmates. “I want
to tone my skills so that I am ready to present myself properly to recruiters,”
said Yaldram, who wants to pursue a career in government and intelligence services.
Smith students have high expectations to meet. “We’ve had so much success with
Smith students,” Ali Downes, a Recruiting Manager from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, said
effusively. “I’ve been recruiting at Smith for seven years and performance-wise,
Smith students are among the best. They’re dressed professionally and their resumes
are top notch. We’ve had Smith interns become full time employees.”
Smith students have many opportunities to leverage within their business program
to get ready to impress recruiters. Jonathan Beltran ’11 landed his last summer
internship through HireSmith, the School’s online recruiting portal for students
and firms. K-Mart was impressed by Beltran’s resume and invited him for an interview.
The position fit Beltran’s goals well. His interest in supply chain management was
inspired by Prof. Jeffrey Miller’s Introduction to Supply Chain Management course.
“Prof. Miller gave us a lot to think about and I could go to him with questions
about careers in supply chain,” said Beltran.
Industry clubs also play a major part of the internship and career process for
students. Chelsea Bowersett ’11 also attended the Supply Chain Career Fair, organized
by the Supply Chain Management Society. “It’s great because it’s like I get to go
to two career fairs,” she said, after coming back from a summer internship at Target.
Students also benefit from the variety of industry professionals who come to
speak at club events and talks organized by Office of Career
Services (OCS). OCS
staff work with students to determine to focus their goals and craft their presentations,
said senior Stephanie Nguyen. “Whenever I need to, I go to OCS to go over my resume
and cover letters or just to practice for interviews,” said Nguyen, who wants to
pursue a career in either consulting or human resources.
Rachel Loock, Associate Director of Undergraduate Student Programming, highly
encourages such proactive behavior because “the job search process is one that takes
time.” “We recommend that students keep their options open and consider more than
one industry or geographic area when exploring career opportunities,” said Loock.
Loock always encourages students who need assistance with any aspect of the job
search process – such as determining which job or major is a good fit, resume and
interview preparation, or networking – to visit the OCS and meet with a career coach.
In this sense, the preparation for the career fair is one step in a long process.
Rami Salem, an Associate representing Aflac, stressed the importance of recruiting
at the Smith Career Fair for both students and for firms. “Unfortunately, the overwhelming
number of applicants nowadays has forced some firms to sift through resumes by searching
for keywords rather than meeting candidates in person. As a result, qualified candidates
are being seen less and less – you see the keywords rather than people and personalities.
That’s why we’re here.” Salem also noted that his supervisor is a Smith alumnus
and encourages his team to recruit actively from the school.
“Smith students are impressive,” said Salem. “Even as freshmen or sophomores,
they know what they want.”
Stephen Huie, MBA Candidate ’12, Smith Media Group