Building Professionals

Photo by Duane Zehr

Matt Hawkins
February 27, 2017

Bradley students tested their sales pitches and relationship skills on employers who attended the University’s spring job and internship fair. More than 1,000 students visited 166 employers in hopes of finding matches for future career opportunities.

Students valued the day to converse with prospective employers, even if students already had finalized future plans.

Human resource management major Evan Sherman-Hayes ’17, of Peoria, networked his way to two internships through previous fairs.

“Face time is important because it’s all about building personal relationships,” he said. “My success at past fairs gave me confidence I can make connections and show employers what I offer.”

Samantha Johnson ’17, a management information systems major from St. Louis, also found internships and a job offer through Bradley’s fairs.

She credited Smith Career Center staff for her achievements. The SCC offered mock interviews, resume critiques and fair preview networking events to prepare students for the job and internship search. By participating in those events, Johnson understood how to make her best impression on potential employers.

“The Smith Career Center is so invested in your success,” Johnson said. “They throw you into the process and make it tough, which is what I wanted. When I went through job interviews, I wasn’t nervous because I felt like I had been through them before.”

Bradley’s job fairs, career planning resources and professional preparation bolstered students’ ability to find jobs after graduation. The Class of 2016 recorded a career placement rate of 93 percent, which means those students found jobs or continued their education within six months of graduation.

“Our focus on experiential learning and real-world experience really helps our students through the interview process to start their careers right away,” said SCC Executive Director Jon C. Neidy. “Our students have developed the technical and soft skills employers expect, and our students know how to highlight that.”

As students develop networks and take their first professional steps, achievements by students such as Johnson and Sherman-Hayes fuel SCC staff.

“For career services staff, the joy of the work is hearing a student say they got the job and appreciated the help they received,” Neidy said. “It’s a highlight to know you helped a student develop into a professional.”