Internship Fair sees rising interest

By Matt Carlson

More than 100 companies came out for the Internship Fair Tuesday at the Convocation Center.

The event, sponsored by Career Services, gave students the opportunity to talk with employers from across the country and submit resumes. They also gained experience with talking face-to-face with potential employers.

Kyle Decker, junior computer science major, got an internship last year by attending the fair. He sees it as a great opportunity for students.

“They give you a good perspective on what you’ll actually be doing when you do work with them, they’ll tell you the positions available, things you normally wouldn’t see,” he said.

The more than 100 companies and organizations at the fair marked an increase from the 90 that were at the Internship Fair in February.

“We’re at 100 today, which is a significant increase,” said Brandon Lagana, a director for Career Services. “We’ve been seeing an increase since the economy started to rebound. Today, we’re very pleased.”

Lagana said interaction is the best part of the experience for students.

“They get face-to-face time with employers. They’re getting that connection, they’re networking,” he said. “Anytime you get the opportunity to have a conversation face to face with an employer, it’s certainly better than the opportunities you wouldn’t have if you send off your resume electronically.”

NIU and Career Services try to be active in reaching out to potential employers for the event.

“We do a lot of promotion and cultivate relationships so we are actively engaging new employers all the time,” Lagana said. “Some universities take a hands-off approach, but we’re very active in cultivating employer relations.”

One of the employers at the fair was Richardson Electronics. Darryl Martin, the business’s senior global business unit manager, liked what he saw from the students.

“There’s good candidates coming through that could fit our needs,” he said.

There are certain requirements that are required for companies to come, Lagana said. One of the requirements is student safety.

“We make sure companies have positions that are safe for our students, worthwhile for students, and we want to make sure the companies are on the up,” he said.

Lagaga views the Internship Fair as a great experience for students and something that needs to be taken advantage of.

“No other time in your life will you have this number of employers knocking on your door,” he said.