Career Opportunities ’09

By Sarah Small

The health-conscious were not the only people flocking to the University of Illinois’ Athletic Recreation Center this week. Dressed in suits and armed with resumes, hundreds of students came to the ARC to attend the 2009 College of Business Career Fair.

The fair, spread over Tuesday and Wednesday this week, hosted 940 representatives from 189 companies. Many of the recruiters in attendance were graduates from the University.

Michael King, a representative from Fifth Third Bank and a 2004 graduate, said this was his third year at the Career Fair, and that he enjoys the experience so much that he asks to go each year.

“I do enjoy the recruitment aspect,” King said. “I can see that we get the best and the brightest. I want to make sure University of Illinois students succeed.”

He said the economy was definitely going to play a role in this year’s recruitment. Although the volume of applications he received Tuesday was not greater than in past years, his company would probably be taking fewer candidates than in years past.

Another alumna, Sandra Scalet, said she has attended the Career Fair every year since she graduated in 2003 to represent her company.

She said representing her company, Junction Solutions, at the Career Fair serves two purposes. First, it helps recruit students for positions within the company, and second, it serves as a way to market the small company.

She said young people straight from college are often some of the most desirable candidates. 

“We can train them,” she said. “People with experience have a lot of bad habits, but people just coming in, we can groom them.”

Alumni from the College of Business were also welcome to attend the Career Fair, not as recruiters, but as job-seekers. One graduate said she was taking advantage of the fair to do some discrete job hunting. She said the fair was an ideal opportunity to speak with company representatives rather than going through a company Web site.

Jessica Pilarczyk, a freshman in the College of Business, said she found the Career Fair intimidating, but enjoyed the event.

“I wanted to get a feel for all the companies here and get a feel for accounting,” Pilarczyk said. “It was good to get some experience and sell yourself early before it really matters.”