By Jen Maldonado
Graduation day for the senior class is coming sooner than many think, reminding students that after graduation, it’s time to get a job, prompting approximately 400 students to attend Rider’s Career Fair on Thursday.
There were 75 companies and institutions at the fair, with 43 of them listing that they were looking for applicants of any major, which is a good sign for those graduating in May 2013 since “there has been a tremendous amount of uncertainty with regard to the economy, the past few years,” according to Kevin Fallon, director of Career Services.
“Up until 2008, the job market for entry-level, new college grads remained strong,” Fallon said. “Since 2009, there has not been significant growth to speak of. The National Association of Colleges and Employers puts together some of the best analytics when it comes to employer demand for new graduates and they are forecasting an increase in hiring needs, which is encouraging.”
Fallon added that the class of 2013 is “the largest class of college graduating seniors in the history of the United States,” causing graduates to face a lot of competition to try to secure a job. He also said that the most stable market is accounting, with 11 of the companies at the Career Fair looking for students to fill their accouning positions.
“It is important that students do not allow themselves to be discouraged and instead understand that they need to work a bit harder and make sure they can differentiate themselves in a challenging hiring environment,” Fallon said.
Rider’s Career Fair featured representatives from organizations such as Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, the Camden City School District, Target Corp. and L’Oreal. There are some who have consistently come to the fair over the past five years including Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, Prudential, Ernst & Young and the FBI.
Anthony Coluccii, a representative from the Camden City School District, said the schools are looking to fill approximately 20 to 30 positions primarily in the special education department and for applicants who are bilingual.
“We offer a lot of training with the New Jersey Department of Education so a lot of our newer hires are directly out of college and we do have a mix of seasoned teachers that we hire,” Coluccii said.
Colleen Kebles, a representative of the Disney College Program, explained that Disney has a multitude of opportunities for college students regardless of their majors.
“Any type of major you’re in, even if it’s agriculture or marine biology, Disney has these sections,” Kebles said.
It was unclear whether the Career Fair would still be held since it was originally scheduled for Nov. 1, but because of Hurricane Sandy, it was pushed back, according to graduate student Heidi Summers, who works in Career Services.
“After the hurricane, we weren’t even sure if we were going to be able to have the career fair,” Summers said. “We kept up with the employers to make sure they could still make it. We’re thankful that almost everyone was able to come.”
Career fairs have proven to be beneficial for Rider students, providing many with chances to land internships and future employment opportunities.
Senior marketing major and representative for Target Corporation Justin Baldwin said his plans after graduation came about because of a career fair.
“I got the opportunity with Target at a career fair,” Baldwin said. “I was lucky enough to have the internship and from there I got a full-time executive team leader position offer for when I graduate.”
Griffith Montferrante, a senior history major, said this was his first career fair and he was optimistic about his job prospects.
“Everyone’s been saying that it’s tough to find a job, but I tell everyone, ‘Don’t use it as a crutch,’” Montferrante said. “Something will eventually come up that will suit your needs and be what you’re looking for.”
Additional reporting by Rachel Stengel.
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Printed in the 11-30-12 edition