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The iSchool Career Fair: Why Alumni Return to Recruit

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The iSchool has its career fair every semester and iSchool alumni often come back as representatives of their companies to recruit students into entry-level positions. Students attend the fair in order to network with experts and future employers in the information and technology industry. 

At this semester’s career fair, more than 40 companies participated. Recognized companies like IBM and American Express came to meet with students.

Helping Students Succeed

Christopher Perrello, Director of Career Services at the iSchool, has worked with students to prepare them for career fairs for three years now. Perrello says he feels a sense of accomplishment whenever a student lands a job and then comes back to recruit fellow iSchoolers.

“Seeing alumni come back makes me feel like I’m creating lifelong relationships,” said Perrello. “I’ve built a rapport with these students from when they were first-year freshman. Now they’re coming back as alumni to recruit, and it’s an awesome feeling.”

A Unique Skillset

More than 40 companies participated at the iSchool's fall career fair.
More than 40 companies participated at the iSchool's fall career fair. Photo by Charles Wainwright.

Akshit Salian, a data analyst at SmartestEnergy, was one of many participants in this fall’s career fair. Salian is an iSchool alum, class of 2019. He said he returns to give back to the community. He said he knows what it’s like to be in the position of being an iSchool student who is looking for that first career step.

“I have a job because of the iSchool,” said Salian. “The jobs our company is  looking to fill are catered toward iSchool students. There is a blend between management and technology, giving students the option to pursue something more technical or management oriented.”

Salian believes the iSchool is unique. He chose the data science track coupled with management courses in Whitman. He said during his first visit to  the iSchool, he recognized the differences in the way the curriculum was taught compared to how it is done in India. Flexibility in coursework and specialization areas that allow you to differentiate  yourself from others is what makes the iSchool stand out, according to Salian. 

Giving Alumni a Chance to Give Back

Adrienne Graves, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations at the iSchool, works to make sure the school stays in contact with alumni and builds a relationship with them. Graves said alumni love to interact with current students. 

I know a lot of times students are hesitant to reach out to an alum or to go up and talk to an alumni on campus,” said Graves. “They feel that they’re bothering them or inconveniencing them. But that is never the case. Alumni overwhelmingly say that they love when students reach out to them and connect with them.” 

Jason Stachowski, software engineer at M&T Bank, also came to the fair to recruit students.  He said he understands what it feels like to try to land a job after graduation and wants to help iSchool students.

“It’s nerve wracking to get your first job, so if I can help that process or offer some guidance, I will do that every time,” said Stachowski.

For more information on future career fairs, workshops and events, visit the iSchool’s Career Services Office.

Header photo: a recruiter talks with a student at the iSchool's fall career fair. Photo by Charles Wainwright.

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