Career and Internship Fair attracts networking students

UND student Ryan Przybylski talks to a business representative at the fair. Photo by Chester Beltowski/The Dakota Student.

Students lined up outside of the Memorial Union Ballroom  on Wednesday and Thursday for UND’s Career and Internship Fair, where a total of 123 companies set up booths to get to know students and to tell potential employees about their companies.

Ilene Odegard, organizer of the event and Director of Career Services, strongly believes all students, not just juniors and seniors, should attend the event in order to begin their networking process as early as they can.

“I tell students as often as I can to not wait until your junior or senior year to attend a Career and Internship Fair,” Odegard said. “The most successful students are those who learn to ‘market’ themselves, build rapport with a company’s recruiter or representative and be identified early on in the process.”

Not all attending companies had been to the fair before — UND has built up a good reputation around its career fair, making it an appealing event to sign up for if you’re a company looking to fill internships and/or entry level positions.

Melissa Stout, Human Resource Generalist from Coyote West, said her company is looking to fill both fields, and due to the recent opening of a branch in Minneapolis, Coyote West decided to attend this year’s career fair in Grand Forks.

“We’ve always heard good things about the fair here,” Stout said. “It’s a good school and geographically close to one of our branches.”

Other vendors didn’t have to travel quite so far.

Marci Kloety, Director of Development for Northwestern Mutual in Grand Forks, said they’ve been coming to the fair for years and have felt that it has been worth the investment.

“Every career fair we’re introduced to someone who joins our team,” Kloety said.

According to Odegard, the pickings will be far from slim for the attending companies with close to 1,000 students expected to make their rounds over the two day event.

Several interviews were conducted during the two days, some of them going better than others.

“Yes (interviews happen at the fairs), both before and after the event,” Odegard said. “For instance, this time we have over 100 interviews scheduled around this time of year alone.”

UND senior and aviation major Shunan Xu said he interviewed at the last career fair but didn’t get any feedback. He also said that as an international student it is difficult for him and his friends and the whole process of getting hired after graduation is more complex.

Despite these hurdles, Xu reflected on the fair with a positive attitude.

“It’s a good resource and I think it’s a good environment to increase experience,” he said.

Marie Monson is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].