As she heads into her senior year, Drashhti Bilimoria ’21 hopes to gain real-world marketing research experience through a summer internship. At last week’s Spring Career and Internship Fair, she made several valuable connections to help her reach that goal.
“I practiced my 10-second sales pitch to people and also made sure to update my resume,” Bilimoria said. The management major is in the process of seeking an internship that will allow her to see “how in-the-classroom learning applies in the real world.”
The Feb. 5 career fair, sponsored by Clark University’s Career Connections Center, welcomed more than 40 employers from 17 different industries to campus. Tilton Hall was packed as nearly 400 students cycled in and out to discuss opportunities across a number of fields — nonprofits, sports and entertainment, health care, financial services, and beyond.
“Clark students are passionate, diverse, and highly focused on experiential learning opportunities, with 84 percent completing at least one internship by their senior year,” said Angela Harris, associate director employer engagement. “Students were well prepared, engaged in thoughtful discussion, and brought energy and enthusiasm for learning about potential career paths.”
This semester’s career fair was the largest yet, with a number of new employers in attendance including Dana Farber Cancer Institute, The Kraft Group, eClinicalWorks, and ten24 Digital Solutions. In addition to networking opportunities, the event also featured an area where students could have LinkedIn photos taken.
The company representatives included numerous alumni — easily identified by their “Clarkie” pins.
Among them was Kate Pikul ’99, a human resources and talent-acquisition manager for the marketing agency TracyLocke. When considering job and internship candidates, Pikul looks for people who are collaborative, highly organized, and detail-oriented.
“I think Clark students are more worldly than a lot of other students I’ve met,” she said. “The Worcester and at Clark communities are very diverse, and to be able to to see the differences in in people and learn how to work together is something I experienced when I was at Clark. I see it here now, too, which is why I love coming back.”
Pikul spent time speaking with Eesha Kashif ’21, a double major in management and political science, who attended the career fair to connect with Clark alumni and expand her network. Kashif hopes to use these connections as she navigates her professional path.
“What I found most helpful was that there were employers attending from so many different fields and professional areas,” she said. “I also liked how the CCC staff members were there the whole time, helping people find employers of interest and offering advice to all the students.”
Industry representatives had plenty of advice for students, stressing the importance of making connections through LinkedIn or career fairs. Stephanie Mudgett, a technical recruiter for The Kraft Group, said reaching out to a variety of people is crucial because you never know who could point you in the right direction.
When recruiting for jobs or internships, Mudgett looks for candidates who are eager, motivated, and willing to work hard.
“We also want someone who is not afraid to ask questions,” she said. “We all make mistakes, we’re human, we just want to make sure that you’re doing the best you can.”
Robert Studivan, corporate recruiter for eClinicalWorks, said his company looks for local candidates from a wide range of backgrounds.
“We like the diversity of majors that Clark offers,” he said. “That opens up a lot of different opportunities for us.”
The Career Connections Center offers a variety of resources and services to help Clark students with their career preparation and launch, including professional development workshops, employer engagement programming, the Career Lab Drop-In Center, the jobs and internships site Handshake, the alumni mentor-student connection platform ClarkCONNECT, and the Alumni Job Shadow Program.
Students can also make an appointment with a Career Adviser to explore career paths, learn how to get ready, and find internship, research, and employment opportunities.