Company representatives look for student interns at NIU fair

By Ashley Morse

Bookoo President Austin Allgaier said his company uses internships as a “long-term interview” to see which interns are best suited for a permanent position at his company.

Bookoo was among the 160 employers present Tuesday at the Internship Fair. Local employers like Target, CVS Pharmacy, Kohl’s and the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce were also present.

The fair was sponsored by Career Services, which helps undecided majors pick a career path and give aid in career counseling. Alumni who have had internships also give advice to students on what they did to earn their internship at Career Services’ workshops.

Brandon Lagana, director of Strategic Planning and Analysis for Career Services, said the department has devoted its time to helping students get internships. In 2013, 5,558 jobs and 1,400 internships were posted online for students, according to the Career Services website.

Bookoo, an Oswego-based company, sells software and develops hardware for analysis and firearm tracking. The company is looking for students with a business major or engineering major, specifically mechanical and electrical engineering. Allgaier said internships are important not only for experience, but to allow students to see if their intended career path is best suited for them.

Gary Cunningham, human capital professional and Internship Fair representative for Barilla, said part of being an intern is being able to enhance your ability in the workforce and gain perspectives.

Cynthia McFadden, senior public health major, said Tuesday was her second time attending the fair. She said she managed to get an internship last year, and this year she is looking for a chance to intern at the YMCA.