Jobs, summer internships and more career fairs on students' radar this spring
Recent Spring ICE event drew its highest number of employers yet
written by Margo Kissell, university news and communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 91 percent of Miami University students who graduated August 2012-May 2013 were employed or in graduate school by fall 2013.
Miami University students are preparing for potential jobs and internships after connecting with hundreds of employers at the recent Spring Internship and Career Expo (ICE).
The long-running event in Millett Hall drew 2,006 students and 211 employers — about 40 more than usual. That made it the largest Spring ICE yet, said Michael Goldman, career services director.
He attributed the jump to a stronger job market and the fact that his department is getting better at developing relationships with employers. Nearly 70 percent of the employers who took part in Spring ICE on Feb. 11 had come to campus before.
"We have strong pipelines between Miami and certain companies, and we're trying to establish new ones every year," Goldman said. "It's connecting those companies with students and faculty so whatever (a company's) talent needs are, we're their first school of choice."
Christopher Stephens, a junior finance major, was among the thousands of students who donned professional attire and carried their résumés into the arena, where employers filled the concourse and basketball court area.
"Once you start talking to people, you kind of forget about all the chaos around you," a Spring ICE participant said.
Stephens said he's keeping his fingers crossed about a potential internship in risk assurance at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
"I did get a nice follow-up email from their head recruiter," said Stephens, who likes how Miami hosts career fairs on campus because it gives students an opportunity to get their names out there.
"Without this, I wouldn't have had time to talk to companies one-on-one like that," he said.
Learning to "tell their story"
Spring ICE — along with other upcoming job fairs and the fall Career Fair planned for Sept. 16 — give students valuable experience at learning to "tell their story" to prospective employers, Goldman said.
Career services sponsors workshops to help students prepare, including drop-in locations all over campus where they can have their résumés reviewed for free. Other services, including basic interviewing skills training, also are offered.
This was sophomore marketing major Maggie Boyer's first time at Spring ICE.
“I know they usually give internships to juniors and seniors, but I at least want to know what it feels like to walk around so I’m not as overwhelmed,” said Boyer, who wore a black business suit she borrowed from her mother, a lawyer.
One of her marketing professors, Gillian Oakenfull, required students to collect business cards from at least three recruiters — which Boyer did.
David Chappell, a lecturer in the Farmer School of Business' department of finance, enjoyed reconnecting with his former students who were back to Spring ICE as recruiters. He also took on the persona of a coach trying to motivate his current students.
"I'm here to be a friendly face. I've been on the other side. It's a nerve-wracking time," he said. "It's hard so I'm there to smile, shake hands and push them" outside their comfort zone.
Recruiting Miami students
Spring ICE gives students valuable experience at learning to "tell their story" to prospective employers.Amanda Gnagy, senior campus recruiter for KeyBank, a Miami career partner sponsor, said her company was looking to hire several people into a mix of full-time and intern positions in areas such as marketing, supply chain operation, investment banking and finance.
Gnagy noted Christopher Gorman (Miami '83) is president of Key Corporate Bank and chairman and CEO of KeyBank N.A.
"We have a lot of senior leadership within KeyBank that are Miami alums. There is a really strong interest in recruiting Miami students because of the quality and prior success we've had at Key," she said.
Gnagy said, "We have 22 hires from Miami University, as of (Feb. 27). Eight of those are full-time and 14 would be interns."
Spring ICE featured a mix of employers ranging from big corporations like Amazon.com, Procter & Gamble and Toyota to government agencies like Hamilton County Job & Family Services and nonprofits such as ArtWorks and St. Aloysius.
Miami seniors Ellen Haenszel and Marlena Bonafide attended the event to find potential full-time jobs for when they graduate in May. Both came away feeling good about the experience.
"I thought I would be much more overwhelmed coming, but once you start talking to people, you kind of forget about all the chaos around you," said Haenszel, a senior finance major.
Bonafide, a senior psychology major, added, "Conversations are more casual. They just really want to get a feel for you and what you have to say."
Miami alumni Sarah Gard, Kelly Herkamp and Paul Huey were back on campus recruiting for their employer, Macy's, another Miami career partner.
All three remember going through the career fair as students.
"It's nice to be on the other side," said Gard (Miami '99), adding they were there to find the right people for six to eight internships for juniors for their credit and customer service program, a support organization for Macy's.
Career services sponsors a number of workshops to help students prepare, including drop-in locations all over campus where they can have their resumes reviewed for free.
They also had four to six full-time positions to fill in the company's executive development program. With so many students approaching them in a five-hour period, Herkamp (Miami '10) said a student's confidence is what jumps out at her.
"They are the ones who come up and start the conversation. They're prepared and they've researched the company and positions we have available," she said. "We're a business. You come in and need to be able to sort of run with everyone else and work with everyone else, so to be able to carry yourself like that is important."
Huey (Miami '12) is now a manager of business intelligence, which involves understanding data and analytics to tell the story behind how a company is performing. He said he was hired as a result of a campus career fair.
Looking back, Huey believes his business background was a plus, but he also was able to talk to the recruiter about his leadership experience.
"I had RA (resident assistant) experience as well here," he said of Miami, "so that's something else I think that stood out."