Inside Rensselaer
Volume 7, No. 4, March 1, 2013

Spring Career Fair

Center for Career and Professional Development helps students plan for future careers

More than 2,000 Rensselaer undergraduate and graduate students had the opportunity to meet and talk with more than 300 representatives from 117 public-and private-sector employers at the Center for Career and Professional Development’s annual Spring Career Fair on Feb. 13.


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Now in its 12th year, the fair is designed to help students think ahead to potential full-time, co-op, internship, or summer employment opportunities.

“Today’s employers really desire students who have had some experience while in college,” said Dawn Cairns-Weaver, director of experiential learning and cooperative education, who also served as chair for this year’s Spring Career Fair. “This is what gives a student the competitive edge when it comes to landing a full-time job.

“Career fairs create an opportunity for employers to meet with many students informally in a relatively short period of time,” Cairns-Weaver added. “Most important, for students, attending career fairs is an ideal way to network with prospective employers, obtain information about various industries, and generate a list of contacts. In addition, as a result of our targeted residence hall outreach programs developed for the CLASS initiative, we have seen an increase in the number of first-year students and sophomores who also planned to attend the career fair. Many of the students have expressed that they understand the value of starting early—and this is great news for us to hear.”

This year, 37 employers participating in the fair hailed from New York state and the Northeast, including several Capital Region-based companies. More than 30 employers were new to recruiting at Rensselaer. Participating companies included: Accenture Federal Services, Amazon, Apple Inc., Blue Sky Studios, Blue Water Media, Boeing, GE, Google, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Lockheed Martin,
Microsoft, Originate, Palantir Technologies, Schlumberger, Tripadvisor, and ZS Associates.

To further help students plan and prepare for their first encounter with participating companies, the center set up a “Pitching Corner” in collaboration with the Archer Center for Student Leadership Development.

“The overall mission of the center is to be a catalyst in the development of Rensselaer students to become world leaders in a technologically based global economy,” Cairns-Weaver said. “The center is focused on providing programs and services to asist students in discovering and clarifying career choices, and to teach them to manage their careers effectively.”

Initiatives under way within the center include programs to support and prepare graduate students for careers in academia or within the public- and private- sector industries, and efforts to streamline the career process for veterans in order to connect them with prospective employers.

For more information, visit

Photos by Scott Barrows

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 7, Number 4, March 1, 2013
©2013 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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