Approximately 400 undergraduate and graduate students attended the March 22 event, sponsored by the O’Brien Center for Career Development, making it one of the college’s most-visited career fairs ever.
Students in search of internships, co-ops and full-time opportunities spent the day showcasing their resumes and talents for representatives of nearly 100 employers from a cross-section of industries, chosen specifically to align with students’ majors and career interests. Firms in attendance included AECOM, CDM Smith, Eastern Bank, Liberty Mutual, Partners HealthCare, Putnam Investments, Salem Public Schools, Watts Water Technologies, WinterWyman and the YMCA of the North Shore.
“The diversity in companies represented at this year’s event reflects our ongoing efforts to continue deepening Merrimack’s relationship with our corporate partners,” said Jay Caporale ’87, vice president of corporate and foundation engagement. “We have recognized these relationships are important in introducing our students to experiential learning and internship opportunities, and ultimately being able to offer more and better job opportunities.”
Dan Borges ’13, a recruiter for the Boston engineering and construction firm CDM Smith, said he was interested in following up with several students who made strong first impressions. The O’Brien Center will facilitate that process by hosting on-campus interviews through April.
“I remember the faculty and staff encouraging us to make ourselves stand out,” Borges said, recalling his days as a student. “And there were some students today that definitely had picked up on that. They were really well-prepared. I think that’s what gives Merrimack its reputation.”
Their performances were no accident. For two days leading up to the event, career advisers were available in the Sakowich Campus Center to assist students with resume review and professional etiquette. Other students had further refined their skills by attending one of the college’s two-day professional-development retreats earlier this year.
Junior Julianna Martinez, a health science major with a nutrition concentration, said she entered the fair “comfortable and confident” by employing the skills she learned at the February retreat.
“I attended the professional-development retreat to learn more about how to present myself as well as what kind of questions to ask employers to get my foot in the door,” Martinez said. “It was helpful because I knew going in to today that I’d be able to speak about myself without having to read off a sheet of paper.”
Several Merrimack students currently participating in internships at companies represented at the fair had the opportunity to stand on the “other” side of the table and help recruit their peers. Senior Kaylee Foderaro, an intern at Watts Water, a global provider of plumbing, heating, and water quality solutions for residential, industrial, municipal and commercial settings, said she enjoyed experiencing the fair from a different perspective.
“I love the company, so it was nice to talk to people about what Watts Water does and give them, hopefully, potential internships and jobs,” she said.