Some 200 students from a variety of disciplines networked with representatives from nearly 50 top firms seeking employees and interns at Philadelphia University’s annual Career Connections event Sept. 18 in the Gallagher Athletic Center.
“We’ve seen growth in the number of recruiters seeking PhilaU students and graduates this year,” said Tracy DePedro, director of career services, noting that 40 firms attended last year’s event. “We have top company representatives here today interested in hiring students from all three PhilaU colleges.”
Several new employers attended the career fair this year, including the BuildaBridge International, Charter School Services LLC, East River Bank and Sherwin Williams.
And some who have attended in the past are looking for students in new majors. For instance, performance apparel company Under Armour, which has employed many PhilaU graduates in its design department, for the first time came to Career Connections to recruit fashion merchandising and management and textile engineering majors.
Many of the firms return to PhilaU recruiting events because they have had success hiring PhilaU graduates and interns in the past. Chelsea Morris, recruiting coordinator at Destination Maternity, the world’s largest retailer of maternity apparel and a longtime recruiter at PhilaU, said, “Close to 70 percent of our internship body is made up of PhilaU students, and they do a great job. Our designers and buyers have been very impressed by PhilaU students.”
Many firms were represented by a PhilaU alumnus.
“We have a very strong alumni network in our Philadelphia office,” said Henry Buchholz ’08, tax manager at national public accounting firm CBIZ MHM LLC. “We have about 15 associates who have a tie to PhilaU,” added Buchholz, who interned at the firm as a student.
“I talked to an alumnus at Kohl’s,” said Victoria McDougal, a sophomore majoring in fashion merchandising and management. “It was really cool to talk to someone who is enjoying success in the same industry I want to pursue.”
Nicholas Schlitzer, a marketing major who will graduate in December 2014, attended the fair looking for a spring internship. “It gives you experience talking to employers in an interview setting,” he said. “I worked with Career Services last week to freshen up my resume. They talked to me about how to present myself and gave me some background on the companies I was interested in.”
Career Connections provides networking opportunities primarily to non-design majors. In the spring, design majors will have two opportunities to meet with top employers on campus at the Career and Internship Fair and Design Expo.