Stony Brook’s job fairs are a golden opportunity for Class of 2007 alumnus Eric Hoover to give back to the campus.
Hoover, a resident of West Babylon, was studying to become a pharmacy technician, a requirement to become a pharmacy manager, when he learned that one of his Health Sciences Center professors at Stony Brook, Katherine Degen, was also a marketing recruiter for Walgreens.
After meeting with Degen, Hoover applied for and was hired by Walgreens pharmacy in East Meadow. In the span of a few short weeks, he went from being a recent college graduate to becoming a store manager following a series of rapid promotions.
It’s no wonder then that Stony Brook would want to send a successful alumnus like Hoover to steer current students toward a career path similar to his own.
Stony Brook Career Center Student Employment Coordinator Karen Clemente says that there are more opportunities now for students to attend job fairs each semester and talk to successful alumni like Hoover.
“We used to run a job fair with a total of 154 companies attending, but we decided to split them up to make it easier for students to find what they are looking for,” said Clemente.
In January, just before the second semester began, 35 employers attended from government agencies. The fair was open to all Long Island students and was held in the Sports Complex Arena. A total of 863 students from Stony Brook and Long Island attended.
February’s Job Fair saw 51 employers from science, technology, engineering, and math-related companies. Chyron, Broadridge, Northrop Grumman, Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey, BNL, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and others attended to talk to the 818 Stony Brook students.
In March, there were 57 employers from business, healthcare, non-profit, and communications companies attending, such as Northwestern Mutual, YAI, Geico, Free, Vector Marketing, Options for Community Living, Blinds to Go, Enterprise Rent a Care, and Reddy-Care Physical Therapy. A total of 622 Stony Brook students participated.
In addition, the Career Center has implemented a virtual summer job fair online, which began on March 31, can be accessed at www.stonybrook.edu/career, and is listed under students ZebraNet accounts.
Two job fairs for full-time and internship positions and another job fair for government positions will take place in September and October, which may revert to just one combined fair, and another job fair for government positions is scheduled for January 2011. There is one part-time fair planned for next semester, and it may be a virtual one.
According to Andrea Lipack, Career Center associate director/employer relations, employer participation in the University’s Spring 2010 job fair has increased by 20 percent over the fall 2009 job fair.
Lipack also noted that according to national statistics, employers who are not hiring full-time are still hiring interns in order to maintain a pipeline of potential candidates when full-time opportunities arise.
Before meeting with company representatives at job fairs, students are encouraged to make a stop at the Career Center to increase their chances of success by improving their job-seeking skills or merely for motivational purposes. Hoover said he learned how to write a resume from a course taught by Career Center staffer Alfreda James, who told him he had the personality and drive for a corporate job. “If I hadn’t listened to her, I would still be pushing a lawn mower,” he said.