Charles Wallowitch, a senior accounting major networks with Stephen Blumenthal, director of recruitment at Northwestern Mutual.
More than 300 PhilaU students packed the Kanbar Campus Center Performance Space on March 6 to network with representatives from more than 35 firms who were recruiting on campus as part of the day’s Career and Internship Fair.
The recruiting event, which attracted such prominent employers as Target, Verizon Wireless, QVC and the Philadelphia Police Department, is one of several offered each year by the Office of Career Services.
“It’s really helpful to break the ice for the job search,” senior textile design student Emily Klein said of the career fair. “I had business cards printed, I gathered together my portfolio.” She also brought samples of her knit designs to share at her meeting with recruiters for A & H Sportswear.
John Fitch, a 2002 PhilaU fashion design alumnus, was recruiting students for technical design positions at sportswear firm Under Armour. He noted that there are many PhilaU graduates working for the Baltimore-based firm. “We’ve found talent here in the past,” he said. “We’ve come to expect a level of competence and ability from PhilaU graduates.”
Charles Wallowitch, a senior accounting major who spoke to representatives from several companies, said he’s hoping to land a summer internship with Verizon. “It’s a great opportunity to put yourself out there,” he said.
“Networking enhances students’ professional development and exposure to employers for employment and internship opportunities,” said Tracy DePedro, director of PhilaU’s career services center. “The participating employers intend to invite students for further interviews and make offers for both full-time and internship positions.”
Senior textile design student Emily Klein interviews with an A & H Sportswear representative.
Fashion design and textile design students were able to submit their digital portfolios via the online portfolio site Behance for employers to review prior to the career fair. PhilaU launched its Behance design portfolio community at http://DesignPortfolios.PhilaU.edu last fall.
Employers were recruiting students from a range of programs, including business, construction management, fashion merchandising and management, fashion design, psychology, engineering, professional communication, law and society, textile design, textile materials technology and textile engineering.
Design Expo, another recruitment event scheduled for April 3, is focused specifically on design disciplines.
Some employers were primarily looking for interns, but noted that they tend to fill their full-time positions with those interns. QVC recruiter Kristen Cheek was at the fair seeking merchandise buying and planning interns. “We’ve had huge success with PhilaU students,” she said. “They have a passion for product and a strong work ethic.”
Cheek was accompanied by current intern Danie Piacentini, a graduate student in PhilaU’s Global Fashion Enterprise program, who spoke to prospective interns about her experience at QVC. She was an intern buyer in seasonal home décor last semester and gold jewelry this semester. She hopes her internship experience will ultimately translate into a full-time position with the home-shopping retail giant.
Howard Furman, a recruiter for novelty gift retailer Spencer’s, also was at the fair seeking interns. “We have a high succession rate,” he said. “A lot of our interns become assistant buyers.”
Other employers at the career fair included: Boscov’s, Burlington Coat Factory, Chico’s, Deb Shops, Defense Logistics, Destination Maternity, Enterprise Holdings, Federal Mogul, ING Financial, Kohl’s, Lilly Pulitzer, Northwestern Mutual, Prudential, Reminder Media, Tyco International and Verizon Finance.