SOC Career Fair 2015
SOC Career Fair
By: Regina Merrill
Eager students armed with resumes and employer directories got the chance to network with representatives from 45 top companies at the School of Communication’s annual career fair.
On Tuesday, February 3 in Corboy Law Center’s Kasbeer Hall, 215 students and alumni mingled with recruiters from many different fields of communication, including advertising agencies, journalism organizations, nonprofit agencies, tech companies, and public relation firms. Many big-name companies were present, including Walker Sands Communications, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and the Daily Herald.
Martin Gahbauer from the Career Development Center said that career fairs are so beneficial to students because they are one of the few places where so many employers will be under the same roof at one time. “The great thing if you’re a student is, you haven’t had to really do any work to go out and make these contacts. They are here ready and willing and wanting to meet with you.” he said. “In real life, that happens very rarely.”
In 2014, 188 students and alumni attended the fair, so this year saw a 13% increase in attendance. Each year, career fair attendance and student participation in other Career Week events steadily increases.
Many of the recruiters tabling at the event were Loyola alumni themselves. Julian Gonzalez, BA’13, now works for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
Gonzalez attended the fair when he was a student and recalled being overwhelmed by all the choices. He said that now “it’s great to be back, and I’m really excited to show people who we are and what we do.” The Steppenwolf Theatre was recruiting for many positions, from their summer internship program to a 9-month apprenticeship program, as well as a multicultural fellowship.
Lauren Bogacz, BA ‘14, now works at Walker Sands Communications. She attended the career fair every year she was in the SOC, and got her current position by networking with representatives from Walker Sands her junior and senior years. She said, “it’s definitely interesting to see it from the other side, and to see how well Loyola prepares the SOC students. We have a really great reputation at Walker Sands.”
Jake Diaz, a junior Ad/PR and English double major, hoped to gain an opportunity for hands-on experience from this fair. “Learning about advertising in the classroom is a very poor substitute for actually knowing how to do it and getting comfortable and confident in it, so that’s what I want to get after,” he said.
No matter what year students were, it was beneficial for them to attend the fair and to start making connections and building relationships.
Dale Gaughan, a junior communication and history double major, spoke with two companies, Entertainment Cruises and Conversant, Inc. Gaughan really liked that through Entertainment Cruises’ internship program, you could meet with the CEO, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), and spend time in each branch of the business to really get a feel for what each one does. When she spoke with Conversant, Inc., she said, “they told me that when I’m a senior, definitely come back, we love to hire graduates.” Gaughan felt it was a great event. “They were all very eager to talk to you. It was really nice.” she said.
The career fair provided an invaluable opportunity for students to meet with so many prospective employers at one time. By seeing former Loyola students behind employee tables who attended the career fair themselves, students were provided with real-life examples of how opportunities the SOC provides can be important first steps in starting a career.