College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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2007 Winter Business Career Fair: Double-digit Growth


The College’s Business Career Fair truly stands out in its class.

The 2007 Winter Business Career Fair, held January 30-31, brought together a record number of companies, students and alumni for a chance to network and to exchange information.

The number of participating companies, 160 total, increased over last year’s winter fair by 20 percent. They represented a wide variety of industries, from accounting firms, to banks and investment institutions, major retailers, pharmaceutical and software companies, just to name a few. There were more students participating this year (about 2,600) as well.

“While business career fairs in other regions and university campuses are typically having trouble getting students and companies to attend, University of Illinois is just the opposite,” said Lois Meerdink, assistant dean, Business Career Services.

“This speaks well to the enthusiasm and ‘go-getter’ attitude that our business students have,” she said. “Also, it’s a bonus that so many alums like to come back as recruiters at the fair.”

In a follow-up survey disseminated to recruiters, many remarked on the students’ solid professionalism and preparation – not always that common at job fairs, they lamented.

“I could not believe how professional and incredibly prepared they all were. It was an absolute pleasure to meet with them and I look forward to employing several of them,” said one recruiter.  

The Winter Business Career Fair is the kick-off event for the Business Career Services recruiting activities throughout the year. While most of the companies are recruiting for business positions, the fair is open to all students at the University.  “For many, it’s the first step in becoming acquainted with recruiting companies and their career opportunities,” added Meerdink.

This year’s winter fair was co-sponsored by five student groups:  The Business Council, The Finance Club, The Minority Business Students Association, Phi Chi Theta and the Society of Women in Business.

Again this year, the fair included a “reverse career fair,” consisting of student organization table displays staffed with representatives. “The purpose of this event,” said Meerdink, “was to help educate companies on the College’s student organizations and exchange contact information for future interactions.”

A recruiter from a major software firm later commented, “It was great to meet some of the student organizations on campus. I believe our company will definitely develop relationships with some of these organizations.”

The 2007 fall career fair is scheduled for September 17-18, and winter 2008 will be held January 29-30 in the Illini Union.

UIUC College of Business