Graduate Blog / Career Development

Graduate Students and Employers Connect at 2016 Just-In-Time Fair

2016 JIT Fair photo_1799What do a brewing company, a Swiss chocolatier and a national drone training school provider have in common? They all attended the 2016 Graduate Just-In-Time Career Fair at Babson College .

40 employers of varying shapes and sizes, including 53% who were open to hiring international students, descended upon Knight Auditorium on April 6 to locate the best talent possible for internship and full-time openings.  Babson did not disappoint. Over 200 students armed with business cards and resumes and spread across multiple graduate programs, including MBA (Full-Time, Blended Learning and Evening) and MSEL, donned their Sunday best in hopes of securing  a highly coveted interview slot. Each company was allotted several interview “dance cards” – effectively allowing them to select students with whom they wanted to meet directly after the fair.

At 4:30, the “hum” and “energy” that was palpable during the previous 2-hour fair came alive once again, as Knight was converted from a career fair like atmosphere into one buzzing with 1st round interviews.  “It was great to see so many familiar employers who continue to show interest in our students as well as several new companies joining us for the 1st time”, remarked Cheri Paulson, Senior Director, Graduate Center for Career Development and Strategic Partnerships.

Student See The Opportunities

A career fair prep session was held the prior week by Babson’s Graduate Center for Career Development (CCD) and led by Susan Lemke and Jay Robie to give students a leg-up on what to expect.  Blended Learning student Asya Mosyak, a first time attendee, worked closely with Cathy Merlo and Susan Lemke and ultimately landed a full-time role with Altair Consulting.

I am so ecstatic, I could rave about the benefits of the career fair for days. As MBA students, candidates and potential candidates, it is absolutely imperative to network and get exposure to potential employers if one is considering a career change. Even if someone isn’t looking right this minute, or if it seems that their ‘dream company’ isn’t on the roster, it is so incredibly valuable to learn more about companies, industries and job descriptions in order to make educated decisions about one’s career.

I loved the structure of the career fair most. Students were given all necessary resources to research job descriptions and employers and come to the fair prepared to make a good impression. The employers represented at the fair were allowed to attend only if they had open positions which made the event much more actionable than just an informal ’meet and greet.’ These employers were looking to hire, so I feel that I was set up for success ahead of time, given enough preparation.

I was also able to secure 4 interviews from the Fair, of which I attended two, and passed down the other two because I got an offer.

1st year MBA student Sri Bade had this to say: “The JIT Career Fair gave me a chance to meet companies that were actively looking for interns and also understand better what skills they are looking for in the interns and full-time positions that they were looking to recruit. I feel I got a head start in understanding what skills I would need to develop before I apply for full time positions next year. I was surprised with the one-on-one face time I got with the company reps that were at the fair. The arrangement of the stables for the companies was done in a manner that did not overlap with each other which led to fruitful conversations.  Since the lines moved fast and the reps were concise and prepared, I got to meet 7 companies that afternoon.  I had 3 good conversations that I am trying to convert into internships right now.”

2nd year MBA student Jonathan Lee spoke with 10 companies and felt that the companies at this year’s fair were genuinely interested in hiring Babson students. “I appreciated the variety of companies at the fair. You could see a wide range of companies from startups to global corporations. I secured two interviews at the actual fair. This is mostly thanks to the preparation I did with Lily (CCD). I was able to speak with one of the companies afterwards through a phone interview.”  Lee had this to say, as a message to future Employers who are considering attending this event. “At Babson, you can find a diverse student population in terms of nationality, work background, and beliefs. In a way it prepares us to work with individuals that you would never encounter otherwise. Students are better prepared to work in a global economy.”

Companies Impressed with Babson Graduate Students

And students weren’t the only ones buzzing with enthusiasm about this event.  Several employers chimed in as well.

“The interviews went well. I’m always impressed with the range of talents and experiences at Babson”, said Emily Lagasse, Founder & CEO of Fedwell. Tony Carlino, a Talent Consultant at MilliporeSigma, had a steady stream of students at his table for a majority of the event and offered some interesting insights. “During the event I noticed that being a student at Babson means being a part of an energetic, dynamic group of people who are passionate, curious and committed to their areas of study. The event gave us the chance to see the value of the education provided here and how that translates into quality candidates. We noticed right away how prepared the students were and how organized the event itself was.”

First time-attendee, Megan Sireci, Campus Recruiting and Programs Manager for athenahealth was struck by the prep work. “The fair was really well organized and an overall great use of our time, so thank you so much for hosting! The event was great! We had a fun time and were impressed by the students.”

Several employers specifically commented about the preparedness of the MSEL (Master of Science in Management in Entrepreneurial Leadership) students. “I was very impressed by the level of professionalism exhibited by these students. The students had a lot of drive and passion for what they would like to pursue in their careers”, said one employer.

At press time today, discussions and interviews between Babson graduate students and these employers continue to occur building on the great momentum which began only a short time ago. While certainly a signature event, the annual Just-In-Time Career Fair is one of many ways that employers can partner with Babson’s Graduate Center for Career DevelopmentContact a member of our team to discuss ways to optimize your brand on campus and build a talent pipeline for your internship and full-time hiring needs.

Thank you to ALL of our employer partners who participated in this wonderful event. We look forward to seeing you again next year!