Looking for the big payoff

Photo by Duane Zehr

By Matt Hawkins
February 20, 2015

Renaissance Coliseum buzzed with activity as 800 students eagerly pitched their skills to prospective employers and internship supervisors at the Spring Job and Internship Fair.

Members of the Class of 2015 sought jobs in an improving economy, with recent employment data showing the unemployment rate for college graduates at “rock-bottom” levels. This, in addition to a 93 percent career outcomes rate for Bradley’s Class of 2014, is good news for job seekers.

“As the U.S. economy is more knowledge-based, people with bachelor’s degrees are better situated to address the needs of individual companies,” said Smith Career Center Executive Director Jon Neidy. “Our students have experience, critical thinking skills and a general education background that position them well to solve problems in a knowledge-based economy.” 

The career outcomes rate is the percentage of students employed, continuing education or pursuing other options. Bradley’s data is based on knowledge of 95 percent of the graduating class — well above a recommended level of 65 percent for statistical purposes.

In addition, 94 percent of Bradley students participated in experiential learning opportunities through internships, real-world classroom projects and other opportunities.

The professional experience background drew recruiters such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car representative Krista Malone to campus. Bradley interns have won the company’s regional sales competition five of the past seven years.

“Bradley is such a value because its students are well-prepared,” she said. “Bradley is a school where they get a great education and that translates to business world opportunities.”

While most students took advantage of the day to jump-start their job prospects, some used the opportunity to polish soft skills that will be valuable in the workforce.

“This is a good networking experience and practice for interacting with employers,” said Kevin Krilich ’15, a communication major from Lansing, Illinois. “I can get down what I want to say in an interview and feel comfortable in professional settings.”

Students also could interview through 21st-Century technology with the telepresence of OneFire Media vice-president Jason Parkinson. Parkinson, who sought interactive media students, virtually visited with students via a tablet mounted on a Segway-like cart. 

The creative sales pitch targeted future graduates of a program the company holds in high regard.

“We know Bradley has a great IM program,” Parkinson said. “We’re seeing great quality of learning and work out of those students.”