Students gathered at the Gordon Dining & Event Center Tuesday for the campus-wide career and internship fair to network and make connections with potential employers.
Companies across disciplines set up booths, seeking interns and potential hires from the University of Wisconsin-Madison student body.
Felicia Phun, a senior and biology major, wanted to network and see what jobs in healthcare or research were out there, but felt nervous, she said.
“I'm graduating next year — I'm scared, I need a job,” Phun expressed. “But now I’m easing into it. It’s okay.”
Many organizations were Wisconsin based, like Kohl's, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Epic, Esker, Fiserv and Uline. The companies shared information on entry level positions and internships open for students.
Jobs in manufacturing, insurance, human resources, real estate, software engineering, non-profits, advertising, public relations, marketing and finance were all advertised.
Other organizations at the fair included JPMorgan Chase & Co, the Peace Corps, the FBI, Macy’s, Chewy and GE Healthcare among others.
Sean Ahern, a senior and real estate and finance major, expressed he didn’t come into the fair looking for specific companies name-wise, but instead opportunities within the field of his major.
“I'm mostly just trying to get as much information as possible. I don't know specifically what I want to do yet, so it's more to gain information,” Ahern said.
Recruiters were eager to get to know students and many shared they have been impressed over the years by students’ engagement and friendliness.
Companies and organizations gave a myriad of reasons why they want to hire students and what they look for in potential applicants. Many explained they have a history of hiring UW-Madison students over the years.
Kate Schachter, a recruiter for the Peace Corps, explained positions are competitive within the government agency and they receive hundreds of applicants from UW-Madison students every year. About 75 to 85 students make it out into the field each year, Schachter said.
“[We look for] people who are committed to service, who are passionate about serving the world and ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” Schachter said.
Central Garden & Pet, a market leader in the garden and pet industries, hoped to advertise a summer internship opportunity that in the past was filled by UW-Madison students, said Emily Freeman, the company’s brand manager.
“We look for people with a marketing background, but also people who are able to think on their feet and move and groove as brand managers. Someone who is interested in immersing themselves in a business,” Freeman said.
Carly Stingl, director of the International Internship Program at UW-Madison, aimed to get word out about the different options available when abroad and added that being at the fair usually results in a bump in advising appointment bookings.
“We’re trying to help students become aware that this is an opportunity,” Stingl said. “Students know about studying abroad, but they don’t know about internships abroad.”
UW-Madison hosts a variety of career and internship fairs throughout the fall, many of which are major or career focused, like the Public Service Fair, Technology, Data and Analytics Fair and the Equity and Inclusion Fair.