Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Career Engagement Office, Albers Career Center Hold Annual Career and Internship Fair

Fern Creson

Seattle University’s Career Engagement Office and the Albers Career Center held their annual career and internship fair in the Campion Ballroom Feb. 8. The event was full of students seeking an answer to a very pressing question: what comes after college? 

This year’s fair saw over 50 companies and organizations come to Seattle U. According to the fair’s event page, the career area best represented was government, which had nine organizations present. This included the City of Seattle, Sound Transit and the U.S. House of Representatives. There were also seven nonprofit and six healthcare organizations at the fair.

Career fairs can serve as a resource for students to network and discover job opportunities. 

Seattle U Alumni Kennedy Dresh attended the event representing Sound Transit. Dresh, who has worked for Sound Transit for over five years, got their start with the company from an internship they found at a career fair. Dresh believes that it is important to study what you are interested in because career paths can emerge in unexpected ways. 

“A career fair like this was how I got connected and ultimately has led me on my career path,” Dresh said. “[It] worked for me, I want it to work for others.”

Furthermore, applying for an internship you found at a career fair can potentially turn into a job after college.

A handful of the students present at the event had been to a career fair before, including the Business and Engineering Fair last October. However, this was also the first career fair for many of the student attendees. One of these students was Second-Year Biochemistry Major Joe McGroarty.

“I really like the environment, I like the idea of everybody getting together to network… It’s a little intimidating, I won’t lie, but I think once you break the ice [and] get more into the conversation, things tend to turn out really well,” McGroarty said.

Planning for the fair was a group effort, as the Career Engagement Office and Albers Career Center weren’t the only groups involved. The organizers partnered with campus security, campus events and facilities departments as well. 

According to Kiyana Higa, associate director of career education at the Career Engagement Office, a key reason to collaborate was to ensure that attendees could find and safely get into Campion Hall for the event. Higa expressed gratitude to the event’s many contributors.

“This is really a joint effort,” she stated. “It’s really [a] cross-campus, cross-community event,” Higa said.

While the student feedback for the fair was overwhelmingly positive, many students hope that next year’s event will have a larger selection of companies and organizations. 

Second-year Political Science Major Gabriel Albert is one of those students. Albert said that although he thinks political science was well-represented by several government organizations in attendance, he hopes that future fairs will have more law-related opportunities.

Higa understands that not all job fields are covered at the career fair. She mentioned that a big part of planning events is to make sure that certain career paths don’t fly “under the radar” during the organization process. Trying to get smaller majors like film and education adequate representation plays a key part in planning. Inevitably, some fields will be underrepresented.

Still, she believes that shouldn’t prevent students from attending.

Fern Creson

“We always tell all students to show up because each of these businesses [is] looking for [a variety of] roles… When students come to career fairs, not only should [they] be looking for opportunities, but [they] should be also looking for contacts and networking. You never know who is going to know someone else,” Higa said.

Higa’s sentiment rang true with many students. Even though there weren’t many booths that reflected their career interests at the fair, McGroarty and Albert both agree that they were still able to network successfully. 

“I do wish there [were] a little more opportunities… but I am grateful for the programs that are here and that I’m able to interact with them… just the fact that I’m here and that I’ve [been able to] exchange information opens the door for me in the future,” McGroarty said.

There will be no rest for the Career Engagement Office, as Higa said that planning for the next fair always starts the day after. Hopefully, several Seattle U students walked away from the fair with a summer internship. If not, there is always the next fair!

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