Ready for the Future

An estimated 1,500 Bradley students connected with prospective employers at the fall job and internship fair. (Photo by Duane Zehr)

Matt Hawkins
September 19, 2016

Bradley students practiced personal sales pitches and built valuable connections with employers at Bradley’s fall job and internship fair. The day provided students a unique environment to explore a variety of career options and meet with professionals.

“For us to meet with Fortune 100 companies and only have a few people in line is a great benefit for us,” said industrial engineering major Aditya Sreekumar ’17, of Bloomington, Illinois. “You can have fantastic conversations with employers, and those are incredibly valuable. Even if you don’t get an offer, you’ll learn more about careers so you can prepare yourself for potential opportunities later.”

Sreekumar began attending Bradley’s job and internship fairs through the influence of his freshman dorm’s resident assistant. Since then, he landed several internships through the fairs, including a 2016 experience with John Deere that led to a job offer.

Now an RA on campus, Sreekumar encouraged his floor to take advantage of the fair and the Smith Career Center’s services.

“I was proud to see my floor taking the job process seriously,” he said. “By going as a freshman, you can iron out your fears early. I’m glad I went so soon because I found out what employers wanted in ideal candidates, and I used that information to land great internships later.”

Career fair successes are one reason for the University’s 92 percent career outcomes rate, which means graduates found employment, continued their education or pursued a venture of their choice within six months of graduation.

SCC Executive Director Jon Neidy credited the University’s holistic student development approach for employers’ continued interest in hiring Bradley students.

“Employers know Bradley students are well-prepared and interested in working for them,” Neidy said. “Our students continue to impress people at the fair because they’re more prepared than others with resumes and elevator speeches. They’re also ready to get on the ground and go to work. That overall readiness makes them ideal job candidates.”

Katie Munoz ’18, a professional sales major from Oak Park, Illinois, watched the fair from the employers’ perspective this year. She earned a 2016 Enterprise Rent-A-Car internship at a Bradley fair last year and won the company’s regional summer intern competition.

As a result, she and several other Bradley students helped the company recruit 2017 interns. By assisting Enterprise, she discovered a new perspective of her skills and achievements.

“I’ve gained a lot of confidence to talk to employers because I’ve seen the business from their side,” she said. “I realized hard work pays off. Employers will see that and will want to hire you.”