The Career Center hosted its annual Fall Career Fair in the Recreation Center last Thursday, Sept. 27. The Fair offered undergraduates, graduates and postdoctoral students a chance to network with over 115 different employers.
Xuan Qin, a graduate student, said that although she was able to network with a variety of employers, she felt as though she could have found a lot of the employer information from the Fair on the recruiting platform Handshake instead of walking around the Recreation Center, which she found very tiring.
“Lots of information I could have found on Handshake. So maybe I could have stayed at home and applied for lots of jobs,” Qin said.
However, Alayna Hayes, director of employer and market development for the Career Center, emphasized the importance of in-person networking in an email to The News-Letter. She added that this was something that could not be achieved through Handshake.
“The Career Fair allows students to make a personal impression that they can’t make just by applying to positions on Handshake or any other job platform. Students can do this by meeting employers at an employer’s booth or by connecting with the employers who host a table at the networking breakfast before the fair,” she wrote. “Making connections is a vital piece to an effective job search strategy and the Career Fair allows an opportunity to do this.”
According to Hayes, fewer students attended this year’s Career Fair than last year, while more attended the STEM Fair on Sept. 20.
Due to limited resources, employers who would typically attend the Biomedical PhD Fair were incorporated into the fall Career Fair this year. As a result, there was a section of the Fair that was designated specifically for those recruiting graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
Rachel Hart attended the Career Fair as a recruiter for LGS Innovations, a technology and cyber security company.
“So far it’s been cool because the students that have been able to come out and talk with us have been really interested in engineering. You can tell that Hopkins students really have a passion to dig deep,” Hart said.
Mindy Seto, who was also representing LGS, is a former Hopkins student who was recruited by LGS at a past career fair. She noted that compared to past career fairs she had attended, it was harder to discern which organizations were recruiting which majors.
“This [Fair] is a little bit too generalized; it’s hard to tell which booths are for what type of companies,” Seto said.
Senior Rachel Underweiser attended the Career Fair to explore the different employment opportunities available for her as a Writing Seminars major.
“I want to experience talking to different employers and seeing different opportunities, especially if I hadn’t considered something previously,” Underweiser said.
Though there were many organizations which Underweiser was able to network with and was excited about, she noted that there were very few arts or production companies.
She stated that the Career Center had been much more helpful to her as a humanities student this year than in past years. She still felt, however, that humanities majors did not have as many resources as STEM majors.
“The funding the arts groups receive here at Hopkins is significantly less than many other organizations here on campus and, at least within the Career Center, the opportunities given to us on Handshake are extremely limited,” Underweiser said. “It can make you feel like the things that you’re passionate about aren’t considered as important here.”
According to Hayes, at least 15 companies were specifically recruiting humanities majors, and many of the STEM companies were recruiting students from a variety of majors. She also noted new additions to the fair such as the magazine The Atlantic.
“We were excited to have new additions to the fair like The Truth Initiative and The Atlantic. Unfortunately, we had a fairly low turnout of humanities majors to the fair, resulting in low engagement with these employers which may result in a choice not to return in following years,” Hayes wrote. “We will need to continue to message to students that these employers are coming and want to meet humanities students.”
Hayes went on to address some students’ concerns that the Career Center provides fewer resources for humanities majors than for STEM majors. She pointed to Career Academies, which are networks of employers, alumni and faculty in specific industries, as an important tool for humanities students.
“We continue to do more for humanities majors through the Career Academies and sincerely hope that students connect with them to meet employers and alums in their fields,” Hayes wrote.