Opinion: Don't Judge A Career Center by Its Internship Fairs

What do you normally imagine when you think of BC internship or career fairs? Hundreds of junior and senior finance or economics majors in business clothes conversing with multibillion dollar financial firms? If you are a freshman or sophomore in A&S majoring in some form of the humanities, the Career Center fairs seem to have minimal opportunities.

Over the years, the Career Center has been criticized for the notion that all they do is invite big name consulting and financial companies for CSOMers to find jobs during the summer while leaving A&S majors to twiddle their thumbs. However, the truth of the matter is that the Career Center does a lot more than just internship and job fairs. Yet, many more students flock to the fairs because they are the bigger-profile events.

Louis Gaglini, Associate Director of Employer Relations and Recruiting, said in an interview that the internship fair only “skims the surface” of everything the Career Center does. There are several programs the Career Center puts on for underclassmen of any major including workshops, networking events with alumni, and career fairs especially designed for those in the colleges of A&S, LSOE, and CSON. They have everything from resume critiques to interview prep and even workshops on how to properly use LinkedIn. Since the large number of people can make fairs intimidating, the Career Center offers drop-in hours where they go over career interests, ways of building your professional image and the internship process.

Tori Fisher / Gavel Media

Tori Fisher / Gavel Media

The companies selected for the fairs have a positive relationship with Boston College, and it is also the companies’ way of recruiting students for their firms. Not every organization Boston College has connections with will attend the events because that isn’t their style of recruiting. Take for instance ESPN, Barclays Center, or the NBA: all three organizations have great relations with Boston College through the alumni network, yet you won’t see them at internship fairs because that’s not how they recruit applicants. The BC Career community on LinkedIn contains 5,500 members of alumni and current students and was created to help students connect with alumni. If you haven’t done so already, I strongly recommend joining the group immediately on LinkedIn.

Another valuable asset the Career Center provides is EagleLink. If you’re looking for a job or just want to organize your resume, then you should bookmark EagleLink and browse through the visiting company information sessions, workshops, externships, and job opportunities provided by the Career Center. You can apply to internships and find jobs through EagleLink as well.

Since Boston College is a liberal arts institution, Gaglini stressed that you don’t have to change your major in order to become marketable. One of his friends and associates was an English major at Boston College and now holds a high managerial position at General Electric. Consulting and finance companies do, in fact, want to talk to Philosophy, History, English, and Theology majors because they have unique writing, critical thinking, and communicative skills that are essential for any business sector.

So long as you’re passionate about your interests, employers will take an interest in you. Before the semester ends, we should all learn how to utilize the Career Center's assets and the programs it puts on. While the promise and exposure of career fairs is alluring, it's important to know that there are many other ways to land that important interview or opportunity.

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