Undergraduate business students donned their professional business attire, printed out fresh copies of their resumes, and downloaded the latest version a specialized smartphone app to get the most out of the spring career fair at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business on Friday, Feb. 9. 2018.
The event was open to all Smith undergraduate students, students in the multidisciplinary QUEST honors program, and Smith undergraduate alumni. It took place at the Riggs Alumni Center, where employers were on campus to fill externship, internship and full-time positions.
The career fair app that students used was the latest version of a new offering introduced by the Office of Career Services for last fall’s career fair. The customized smartphone app let participants track their favorite employers, read about job and internship opportunities, find specific booths on a map and engage in social media. It also includes preparation tips and attire guidelines to use before the fair.
Overall, more than 550 undergraduate students and alumni met recruiters from 73 organizations at the daylong event. The popular event sold out to employers weeks in advance. Participants included the “big four” accounting firms; big brands like PepsiCo; an increased presence from real estate and construction firms including Clark Construction and NVR Inc.; a great showing of government agencies including the CIA, Department of the Navy, FDA, and FDIC; and defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Northop Grumman.
“We had excellent attendance from freshmen and sophomores and got a lot of great feedback from employers about how our underclassmen presented themselves,” said Ashlee Chicoine, director of Undergraduate Career Programming at the Smith School. She said top employers come to the Smith School because they like the talent on display.
This spring’s fair used color-coded undergraduate majors, both on employer signs and student nametags, to make it even easier for employers to find the right students. “Employers and students were really excited about this new process, as it better facilitated interactions and made it far easier to match student interests and employer needs,” said Chicoine.
She says Smith’s two major career fairs are annual highlights. The Office of Career Services starts preparing students during their freshman year with classes on networking, dining etiquette, resume writing and presentation skills.