Packed Internship Fair connects students with various companies

Amy Kreeger

DeKALB | Tuesday’s Internship Fair saw one of its biggest turnouts (of businesses) in about 15 years.

The fair had 75 companies attending this semester, which is a 15 percent increase in company attendance compared with last semester and several semesters back, said Diane Hart, coordinator of the fair.

“It is the fourth highest number it has been since the fair started at NIU around 15 years ago,” she said.

Hart said the Internship Fair consists of mostly companies looking for business majors.

“The business college here is well known and has a good reputation,” Hart said. “But there are many companies that want other majors.”

Hart said the goal of the fair is to help undergraduate students connect with employers while trying to represent as many majors as possible.

“Students who are looking for an internship that aren’t business majors should look for the companies who are looking for all majors,” she said.

Hart said employers are looking for students who take the time to research their company, write a good resume, and know what their goals are for the internship they want.

Aracele Lopez, senior business administration major, said employers are really anxious to meet you and provide a lot of information.

“It’s not as stressful as I thought,” Lopez said. “You definitely need to go in being confident and having done your research on the companies.”

Hart said the turnout is usually between 700-800 students and the percentage of students who end up with an internship is relatively high.

“The companies that come here are looking to hire NIU students,” Hart said.

Hart said the fair costs $7,000 and is funded by the companies that attend it.

“Profit companies pay $400 and nonprofit pay $200 for a table,” she said.

Career counselor Bob Norwood said the internship fair provides a lot of opportunity.

“Students who come here have the opportunity for networking and advice,” Norwood said. “The counselors sometimes know what company to direct you to depending on your combination of majors.”

Junior marketing major Brad Garrett said he got his internship at Hollywood Palms, a restaurant, bar and movie theater combined.

“You really need to look everywhere,” Garnett said. “The small companies are looking for internships too and you never know who will hire you.”

Students who need help can either make an appointment with Career Services, go online, or attend the workshop coming up later in the semester for help with their resumes, Norwood said.