April 11, 2013 | Borough of Manhattan Community College
One way to attract a college student is with freebies, food, and fun.
Or, you can attract college students when you’re seeking employees for your business—and that’s exactly what makes the BMCC’s annual career fairs so popular.
Hosted by the Center for Career Development and ASAP, in conjunction with the Office of Academic Affairs, this semester’s career fair attracted employers from various genres—retail, non-profit, journalism, and government.
Employers at the Career Fair included Crunch Gyms, Sketchers, JumpStart, Jambox Studio, Mohawk Day Camp, and more.
Let’s Get Digital
This semester’s career fair—held in the BMCC gymnasium—encouraged students to enhance their job searches online.
The Center for Career Development set up an interactive booth at the fair where motivated students learned how to create career profiles on LinkedIn. Staffers snapped individual pictures of students for use on their professional LinkedIn accounts.
“This is our first social-media enhanced career fair, so students and employers are joining us in online conversations,” said Shemeka Brathwaite, BMCC’s Employer Relations Specialist. “The day before the fair, some employers ‘Tweeted’ that they were excited about meeting BMCC students.”
Students speak out
Hundreds of BMCC students who attended the career fair had their resumes in hand and were dressed in business attire. Prior to attending the career fair, students had their resumes reviewed by staffers in the Center for Career Development or by ASAP advisor.
ASAP student Sheyema Youssef describes herself as “organized and detail-oriented.”
“ASAP advisor Michael Stahl helped me make a few small changes to my resume,” she said. “I’m only 18, but I’ve done administrative work, I’ve worked with kids and in the retail industry.”
Theatre major Ronnie Killings scored a job at Visions at BMCC’s last career fair. “I still work there sometimes on weekends,” he said.
This was Communications major Delilah Melendez’s first career fair.
“I’ve been in admin, retail, and marketing, and even worked with celebrities,” she said, adding that her dream job is to work for the E! channel. “I like this fair; it’s a great event. There are so many companies here; there’s something for every student.”
What employers want
According to Melba Olmeda, Director, Center for Career Development, the majority of employers attended the career fair “to fill vacancies and foster positive relations with BMCC.”
“Employers were impressed with the students preparedness and professionalism,” she added.
Yan Revzin of Fortune Cookie Advertising—a company that manufactures personalized fortune cookies for special events—wanted students to know his company is “a great first job for someone, especially if they want to be an entrepreneur,” adding, “We’re seeking outgoing and motivated people who think outside the box and can recruit restaurants or individuals to advertise in our cookies.”
Captain Benny McCants works in Enforcement Patrol for the New York City Parks.
“We’re doing a big recruitment campaign and generally attract students majoring in Criminal Justice,” he explained. “We’re looking for people with good integrity who can pass the physical portion of the exam and are looking to better themselves.”
Ayana Case, Senior Recruiter for Lifespire, a non-profit service for the disabled individuals, has hired several BMCC students in the past. “Students majoring Human Services are generally interested in Lifespire,” she said.
Keith Moore is the online production manager for nv magazine. He spoke with students interested in journalism and new media.
“We’re a business magazine for urban professionals seeking Web and print writers who have a savvy business sense and can put content together,” he explained. “We’re not looking for writers who want to review the Jay-Z concert. We want someone who will interview the crew behind-the-scenes at the Jay-Z concert.”
According to Brathwaite, the companies at the Career Fairs do hire, and seek out, BMCC students.
“You never know what jobs they have available, plus interacting with these employers is good practice for your interviewing skills,” she said. “Also, talk with companies you never heard of. I call them ‘little gems’; they may have an amazing opportunity for you.”