Fall 2019 Job and Internship Expo connects students with career possibilities

Students met face to face with more than 80 potential employers at the Student Professional Development Center's Fall 2019 Job and Internship Expo.

Students dressed to impress, carried resumes and cover letters and hoped to meet their future employers at the Fall 2019 Job and Internship Expo, hosted by the Student Professional Development Center.

“I have plenty of friends from Elon who have gotten jobs just through the Expo here, and it really opens up a lot of opportunities,” said Ben Foster ’21, an economic consulting major.

Students meet face to face with employers from around the world at the Fall 2019 SPDC Job and Internship Expo.

Foster was among the hundreds of Elon students who on Tuesday met face to face with representatives from the more than 80 employers offering full-time and internship opportunities inside Alumni Gym. The list of employers included locally based international corporations including Burlington-based LabCorp and Winston-Salem’s Hanesbrands, as well as recruiters from organizations like Politico, ESPN and online home furnishings retailer Wayfair.

Representing Wayfair, Jenna Sonlin ’14 and Jessica Lowe ’16 hoped to recruit fellow Elon alumni to their Boston-based company.

“We were both so excited for the opportunity to come back to campus, a place that means so much to us and being here for the career fair that I attended so many times is exciting, sort of being on the other side to bring more Elon people to work at Wayfair,” Lowe said.

Lowe and Sonlin also recruited Elon students at the SPDC’s Spring Job and Internship Expo earlier this year. Sonlin says Elon is becoming a major source of talent for Wayfair, which employs 8,000 people.

“We have a good group of Elon alumni, and it’s been amazing seeing the talent that’s come out of this school,” she said.

A student navigates the SPDC’s Fall 2019 Job and Internship Expo.

The SPDC hosts a Job and Internship Expo each semester, bringing top national and global companies to Elon who are specifically recruiting Elon talent for jobs and internships. SPDC Executive Director Tom Brinkley says it’s important for students to get this sort of experience throughout their college journeys.

“We hope students will come even as early as their first and second year to this event,” Brinkley said. “They’re exploring companies and opportunities, having conversations, getting used to shaking a live person’s hand and talking to them about what they’re looking to do for a full-time job or internship.”

While there were several full-time employment opportunities on display, students were also met with a wide array of internship offerings Tuesday. ESPN content associate Brett Thompson was in search of students who could bring energy to an internship position at ESPN and get meaningful experience in return.

“Getting any kind of professional experience before you get that degree is such a massive step for your experience at work, for people recruiting you for future jobs after graduation,” said Thompson, who started his career as an ESPN intern. “It’s so important to get to work with people who have been doing this for years and to kind of soak up any knowledge you can.”

A student meets with a representative from Relias at the SPDC’s Fall 2019 Job and Internship Expo.

Along with the Job and Internship Expo, the SPDC offers career advisers who help students navigate the career development process throughout their college careers. The center seeks to connect the world’s top employers with talented Elon students through on-campus recruiting, career fairs and job and internship posts on the Elon Job Network. The SPDC also offers students help with resumes, cover letters and interview skills.

“Elon does such an awesome job preparing us for the real world and offering us opportunities like this,” said English major Laura Braley ’20.

Not only is it important for students to be offered these opportunities, Brinkley says, but it is also necessary for students take advantage of all the career development resources available to them.

“We’re being very deliberate and very intentional in trying to build bridges to groups across campus by getting some career development in front of students,” Brinkley said. “We have an unbelievable staff within the Student Professional Development Center, and we’re geared up to provide a higher level of service to students if they’ll just take advantage of that and come in and engage with us.”

Resources like the Job and Internship Expo are important to Autumn Cope ’20 as she prepares for life after graduation.

“It’s like a bittersweet feeling because you still want to be young and in college,” said Cope, a finance major. “But I’m very excited to find an employer that might be a good fit for me, and then, we’ll see how it goes.”