Familiar but different: Fall career and internship fair has new look this year

Recruiter and student talk at DHL booth

If you’ve been to a fall Career and Internship Fair at Millett Hall, Tuesday afternoon’s event looked pretty familiar as the court and surrounding walkways were filled tables and signs, with students and recruiters trying to sell each other on themselves and their companies.

But the tables were spread further apart, handshakes weren’t exchanged, and the building was considerably quieter than during previous fairs.

I feel like I can breathe and I feel like I can hear better. This room gets loud when it's as crowded as it has been in previous years. That's a welcome change because I feel like the conversations I can have with students, even with a mask, I hear better,” Vince Ciepiel, partner and senior analyst at Cleveland Research Company, remarked.

With COVID-19 restrictions in place, Miami University made some changes in how the fair operated this year. It was split into two days at Millett Hall, with a virtual Career Fair to follow, and students were given times to arrive based on their class year. All of this was designed to make for a safer environment for everyone involved.

I think that they're doing a really good job at flowing everyone in at different times. It's nice. With different grade levels coming through at different times, we can kind of filter what our thoughts are going to be based on who we're going to be speaking with,” Northwestern Mutual campus recruiter Lauren Grace said. “I also like how distant our tables are -- the lines aren't coming into the other booths. So it's definitely super nice.”

For Farmer School students looking for an internship or the start of their careers, the experience wasn’t very different from previous career fairs. “It's kind of nerve wracking going up to the first company and introducing yourself and giving that whole spiel,” senior marketing major Andrew Golda noted. “But after a while you get more comfortable and it's going a lot better now.”

I like to network. I like to build relationships. But it's definitely hard. You’ve got to push yourself out there and do your research. So that definitely comes as a stressful time, but I've liked it so far,” junior finance and economics major Anna Haught said.

I thought it was going to be a little strange, with the masks and everything, but it's going a lot more smoothly than I thought it would be,” senior finance major Mike Concilla remarked. “I remember in previous years there was just lines all over the place. You were waiting 20, 30 minutes to talk to an employer and it's not as much of a meaningful conversation because they have so many people that they have to get through.”

It’s been fantastic. I always enjoy being here each year, so it's great to be back in person. Definitely seeing students is much more engaging, and it’s a positive process for everybody,” Cintas director of risk and compliance Brian Bensman said.