Commencement, then career
WCSU's 2017 graduates prepare to enter job market at annual Career Fair
DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University students know what it takes to stand out from the crowd and last month at the O’Neill Center on the Westside campus, hundreds of current students and about-to-be graduates entering the job market showcased their talents to some of the area’s top employers at the university’s annual Career Fair.
Sponsored by the Career Services office, the Career Fair was open to all WCSU students and alumni, as well as students and alumni from sister schools, Central, Eastern and Southern Connecticut state universities.
Students arrived dressed for success and demonstrated that first impressions matter as much as aptitude and ability. Equipped with resume in hand, a firm handshake, their best elevator pitch, knowledge of company objectives and direct eye-contact, students informed the corporate community that they are a force to be reckoned with and have the right stuff to succeed.
“More than 300 WCSU students and an estimated 15 percent of our alumni met with employers from more than 60 organizations at the annual fair,” said Dr. Anthony Ciarleglio, director of the Career Services office's Cooperative Education Internship Program.
Returning employer and alumna Jacqui Margres, representing Victorinox Swiss Army, discussed her company’s opportunities for business students with Jonathan Sowatey, an accounting major who anticipates graduation next year. “This is a great opportunity to speak to so many employers under one roof,” Sowatey said.
Broadview Middle School Principal Edie Thomas and Morris Street School Principal William Santarsiero, representing Danbury Public Schools and sharing a booth together, commented that they received a “nice response from students” and “students are asking very good questions” regarding educational employment opportunities.
WCSU women’s basketball players transitioned from the hardwood to their one-on-one careers scoring interview skills. Sophomore Tashai Price said, “I made connections for future internships” and Nicole Mierzejewski, a junior, said, “There were quite a few things I learned at the fair that I didn't know prior. One thing was the questions to ask employers. I started off asking all the wrong questions and only talking to future employers for like five minutes. I then came across the pamphlet that the school was handing out and it suggested good questions. My conversations went from five minutes to 20 minutes just by the questions I was asking.”
Junior Molly Ronan had considered taking time off after completing her undergraduate studies until talking with a representative from the FBI. Ronan said, “He informed me that a good portion of internships, not just ones with the FBI, only accept students attending grad school right after graduation. Because of this, I am now considering going directly to grad school, or even joining the Peace Corps for two years while I figure things out.”
WCSU President Dr. John B. Clark said, “Graduate-level studies have become more important to career success, but they also indicate your willingness to become a life-long learner,” as evident at the WCSU Graduate Studies booth where Associate Director Christopher Shankle said activity was “busier than normal … more than in the past.”
Having an edge in today’s competitive job market is what students graduating from WCSU can count on. Essential skills and fundamental knowledge gained through the university's varied programs play a key role in preparing students to meet the complex demands of an established and emerging employer marketplace.
Career Services is located in Room 300 of the Campus Center on the university's Westside campus. The office provides a wide range of career-related and employment services to students. Staff members also work extensively with employers in referring students and alumni for job opportunities.
To see images from the 2017 Career Fair, visit www.flickr.com/photos/westconn/albums/72157680995195770.
To contact Career Services, go to www.wcsu.edu/career-services/ or call (203) 837-8263.
Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.