September 30, 2016

Over 80 employers and 400 students gathered in the Great Room of the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center Friday, Sept. 30, for the fall career fair hosted by the Office of Career Services.

"It's a good way for students to find internships for the spring and summer, and full employment for graduates," said Anthony Chiappetta, director of career services.

Career Fair 2016

Earlier this week, the Office of Career Services hosted events to prepare students for the fair. On Sept. 27, the office held an event titled "How to Work a Career Fair" as well as a walk in "Résuméania" so students could get help writing or adjusting résumés in preparation for the fair.

For many employers Catholic University educates hard workers with the types of skills they look for in new hires, according to Chiappetta.

“I come to the fair every year. This is the fifth or sixth year I have been here,” said John Durcan, senior project manager for the Gilbane Building Company.

“Catholic students come with a willingness to work,” said Durcan. “They generally have the skill sets that are developed for my industry as well having the ability to collaborate. They don’t go off in a bubble on their own.” He noted that he has personally hired two Catholic University students.

A piece of advice that Durcan gave to students looking for employment after college was to “find a job that is going to lead to the job you want.” Durcan said that even if the position doesn’t seem like the perfect job, it will “help get your foot in the door and make the connections you want to get your next job.”

Career Fair 2016

Construction firms like Gilbane attracted many students from the School of Engineering to the fair, for instance, Blake Gomez, a junior mechanical engineering major from Tampa Bay, Fla.

“I was mostly looking for companies that deal with engineering,” said Gomez. “There were a lot of construction companies [at the fair]. I think it went well. Everyone in there was very helpful and they even answered some questions I didn’t even know I had.”

Representatives of many government agencies and nonprofit organizations were also at the career fair. One such nonprofit was the New England Center for Children, which specializes in education for children with moderate to severe autism.

“Since Catholic has a large population of students that are looking to give back to the community it was certainly on my list of schools to come to,” said Kaitlyn Malony, who represented the education center.

Alumnus Matt Valario, who earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 2009, represented the Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration at the fair. Valario works in the administration’s Trenton office.  

Career Fair 2016

Valario advised students “to develop your skills, especially public speaking and being able to think on your feet.” Those skills are critical “when I do an inspection and there is a room full of people.”

Some students were looking for jobs that would allow them to give back with their degrees.

“I am here looking for the Peace Corps,” said Shane Norris, a senior nursing major from Annapolis, Md., who had prepared his résumé and questions for the fair.