Blazing the Job Trail

(Photo by Duane Zehr)

By Matt Hawkins
September 19, 2014

Bradley’s Fall Job and Internship Fair reflected the recovering economy as 156 employers visited campus to meet with a record 1,215 students.

Recently, each of the University’s job fairs has drawn more employers than the previous one for several consecutive years. This, says Smith Career Center Executive Director Jon C. Neidy, is great news for students.

“As the economy turned around the past couple years, more companies are hiring,” he said. “They are searching for new talent.”

Employers like Sysco Central Illinois, ClifftonLarsonAllen and Archer Daniels Midland Company took advantage of the opportunity to meet the future workforce, with many of the companies sending Hilltop alumni to interview students.

“We want to hire the students we want before they go elsewhere,” said Deere and Co. representative Kyle DeSmith ’08. “Bradley students are highly qualified and we’ve had good success with them moving up in the company.”

Bradley’s Class of 2014 had a 92 percent placement rate, which means graduates found employment or continued education within six months of graduation. The high placement rate is bolstered by job-seekers’ experiential earning as students. According to last year’s First Destination Study, 96 percent of graduates participated in experiential learning projects and 84 percent recorded internship experience.

Alex Spitzman ’15, a marketing major with a concentration in global supply chain management, took advantage of the opportunity to start the job search early.

“This definitely gives more time to prepare and makes the process easier on me,” he said. “If I get a job early, it will make the rest of the year easier.”

The semi-formal environment of Renaissance Coliseum helped ease students’ nerves even as they expressed high hopes for finding jobs.

“It’s beneficial to have the employers here,” said Kyela Specht ’15, a civil engineering major from Munster, Indiana. “It’s not as nerve-wracking because we’re familiar with the setting.

Employers also appreciated meeting students outside the boardroom.

“It’s more comfortable for students to get to know our companies,” said ClifftonLarsonAllen representative John Padilla ’12. “We can gauge personalities better than in formal settings with the process and its regimented questions.”