Dressed in her business casual attire, résumé in hand, Lauretta Purwin ‘13 attended Fairfield’s Semi-annual career fair Thursday, hoping to follow in the footsteps of recent alumni, such as Brittany Martin ‘11.

Martin was able to turn her junior-year visit to the Career Fair into an internship with the Target Corporation that later became a post-graduation full-time job offer.

“This is how I found the right career path for me,” said Martin. Purwin hoped to do the same, stating that attending the event is “the extra step … to get [herself] out there.”

Like many students, Purwin is looking for employment after she graduates from Fairfield. Director of Career Planning, Cathleen Borgman, believes the Career Fair, organized each semester, is an effective way to seek employment, noting that several of the 300 students that attended the event would be offered jobs or internships.

“Employers are happy to be here,” said Assistant Director Stephanie Grejtak.

Although some students may believe it is not essential to attend the Career Fair until senior year, Borgman argues it is important to attend as an underclassman, adding that it gives students an opportunity to practice their elevator speech — a quick pitch used to market oneself to a company or organization.

With more than 70 corporations and volunteer organizations participating in the fair, Fairfield University’s Career Planning Center organized a diverse list of employers, ranging from accounting firms to cosmetic producers like Avon.

However, according to Elizabeth Cortez ‘13, it has not always been this way. She explained that this is her first year as a Fairfield student when representatives from companies are not overwhelmingly focused on students seeking business degrees.

Cortez added, where a mechanical engineering major would usually only find one or two organizations interested in students pursuing degrees in the field, this semester she found more than 10 organizations seeking future employees with such a degree.

Aside from meeting with possible future employers, this semester’s career fair also provided students with the option of taking a headshot. The photos would be sent to students’ emails with the notion that they can be used for their LinkedIn profiles.

As a website, LinkedIn allows members to develop a professional network by connecting with others on the site. Fairfield’s attention to this reveals that today’s job searches are evolving to become more Internet-based, rather than newspaper-ad based. The headshot taken of a student presents a professional image as opposed to a photo taken from their Facebook page.

Ken Ducey, Jr., a representative from HamletHub — a local news organization — encouraged students to attend career fairs, stating that it is a “great opportunity to meet self-starting [and] motivated individuals one-on-one.”

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