Opportunities Abound

By Frank Radosevich II
September 21, 2012

Ana Trujillo ’10 understands the importance of attending Bradley’s fall Job & Internship Fair—both as a student and a recruiter.

As a human resources employee at Target Corp., Trujillo knows the fair draws top-notch students that prospective employers look to hire. And as a Bradley alumna, she remembers how the event helped her land an internship and ultimately the job she now holds.

“I know the caliber of students and leaders that Bradley produces,” said Trujillo, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. “I’m always excited to see what the students are up to and that they understand the importance of coming to the career fair.”

A record number of companies from across the nation sent recruiters to Bradley’s Renaissance Coliseum Thursday for the Smith Career Center’s Job & Internship Fair. At the fair, rows of tables filled the Coliseum, staffed by representatives of employers that included AAA Chicago, ConAgra Foods Inc., Deere & Co., State Farm Insurance, the U.S. government and Verizon. More than 1,000 students visited the 160 booths.

Trujillo, a recruiter at the retail giant, said the career fair connected her with Target through a summer internship in 2009. After the internship, she was offered a full-time position a whole year before she graduated.

Such situations aren’t uncommon for Bradley graduates. Bachelor’s recipients have a placement rate of 92 percent and, according to the most recent figures, graduates were employed with 498 different employers in 29 states and 3 countries.

Jane Linnenburger, executive director of the Smith Career Center, said Bradley offers the career fair because, even in the digital age, companies value the face-to-face interaction it provides with students. She said students attend to not only find work but also to network and explore new opportunities.

“While a lot of hiring happens through the Internet, employers find the career fair to be a great way to connect with candidates,” Linnenburger said. “It is an effective method for organizations to build and expand connections with Bradley students.”

With her graduation eight months away, graduate student Sarah Smith began her search for opportunities in public accounting firms. Working toward her master’s in accounting, Smith said talking with different companies has been helpful in knowing the steps she needs to take to apply.

As a sophomore with double majors in psychology and business management and administration, Brittany Butts hoped to gain some exposure to internship opportunities in industrial organization psychology. She said chatting with employers was a good first step to learning about prospective companies and what they looked for in future recruits.

“It’s really important to build those relationships and network,” she said. “Getting a job or the attention of a company makes you a more competitive candidate.”

For those seeking a different option beyond Bradley, the Smith Career Center will sponsor a graduate and professional school fair next month.