This January, more than a thousand students met with 265 employers at the Career and Internship Connections - job and interview fairs led by the University of Rochester that take place in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Boston.
“These were the biggest CIC events to date,” said events coordinator Amber Graham. Created in 1999 by the University of Rochester’s Gwen M. Greene Career & Internship Center, the CICs have experienced ups and downs along with the national economy.
“This year, interviews surpassed the 2008 pre-recession high,” said Graham. “We had more employers, more students, more interviews, more add-on interviews, and more applications than ever before.” (See historical comparison graph below.)
The CICs were designed to level the playing field for students from liberal arts colleges and universities located outside of major metro areas, where recruiters may not make regular campus visits.
In addition to the UR, the CIC Consortium includes: Boston College, Brandeis University, Case Western Reserve University, Colgate University, Hobart and William Smith, Ithaca College, Johns Hopkins University, Pomona College, Reed College, Sarah Lawrence College, Skidmore College, St. Lawrence University, Tufts University, Univ. of Southern California, University of Notre Dame, and Washington University in St. Louis. Employers include companies of all sizes in all career fields.
The CICs begin with a traditional career fair on the morning of each event. From 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. students visit recruiters at tables, learning about each company and handing out resumes.
Over lunch, staff transform the career fair rooms into interview rooms for the afternoon session. Students have the option of applying to posted job and internships in November and December, and are notified by the end of the year if they have been selected for an interview. Many employers also add to their interview schedules (or build entirely new ones) from the students they met at the morning career fair.
“We heard many success stories of students who were initially declined an interview picking them up through the morning fair,” said Graham. “We’ve already heard of students getting job and internship offers or second round interviews.”
This year, 1,153 interviews were conducted between the four events. UR students had 203 of those interviews, 18 percent of all interviews. Of the total interviews, 306 were added on throughout the morning career fair; UR students picked up 41 interviews this way.
Site directors receive kudos and thanks from many employers each year on the caliber of the events and the students. Amelia C. Casillas, Program Manager for Operation HOPE, Inc, wrote: "Thanks to the LA Career and Internship Connections event, our organization was able to extend an offer for an Information Technology Fellowship to a deserving student. I look forward to next year's event, and the chance to recruit more stellar students!"