Suiting Up

More than 800 students attended the spring Job & Internship Fair at Bradley, connecting with 110 employers.

By Frank Radosevich II
February 6, 2013

Dressed in professional attire with resumes at the ready, students connected with more than 100 recruiters at Bradley’s spring Job & Internship Fair.

Even in the face of sluggish economic growth, Bradley graduates are still excelling in the job market. The Smith Career Center reports the 2011-2012 undergraduate placement rate is the University’s highest in five years, at 95 percent. Overall, Bradley graduates reported landing jobs with 489 employers in 32 states and five countries.

“Companies like Bradley candidates for the skill sets they have and the experiential learning they gain through internships, volunteering, class projects and more,” said Jane Linnenburger, the center’s executive director.

The annual career fair introduces students seeking networking opportunities, internships or full-time jobs with prospective employers from such diverse fields as communications, engineering, entertainment, finance, government, health care, the nonprofit sector and retail. The fair attracted household names like Pepsi, Archer Daniels Midland Co., ConAgra Foods Inc. and State Farm Insurance.

And as another class prepares to move onward, the Smith Career Center continues to coach and ensure each graduate heads upward.

“Students receive great face-to-face contact with employers and they gain an added advantage if they connect with Bradley alumni representing their organizations here,” Linnenburger said, adding that typically half of the fair’s recruiters are graduates of Bradley.

With her graduation just months away, senior Maria Taylor attended the fair in search of full-time employment in human resources. A business management and administration student, she said the fair was a great occasion to meet with a large number of organizations.

“I’m talking to a lot of employers and getting to know them and what they are looking for. It’s been going well,” she said. “Companies come here looking for talent and that helps me because they know Bradley provides its students with a great education.”

One of those companies was East Peoria-based Midwestern Securities. Matthew Kuntz ’04 MBA ’10, chief compliance officer with the securities broker-dealer, said the company comes looking for high-quality applicants on campus.

“We want to take advantage of the candidates that come out of Bradley each year,” he said.

Midwestern Securities already has a handful of Bradley graduates working throughout the business and Kuntz said the company, like the others on campus, were searching for interns and full-time staffers.

“I know the Career Center does an excellent job on educating students on how to make a good first impression,” he said. “Students should just be themselves and reach out with a good handshake and let the conversation go from there.”