September 25th, 2020 marked the very first-ever Fall 2020 Baruch Virtual Job and Internship Fair for the Baruch Starr Career Development Center. The virtual fair was open to undergraduate students from all Baruch schools: The Weissman School of Arts & Sciences, The Zicklin School of Business, and The Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, and Zicklin graduate students interested in accounting.
The fair welcomed over 75 employers across more than 10 industries, including positions and internships focused on accounting, communications, CIS, consulting, economics, finance, healthcare, government, media, and other related fields. Our ongoing partners in attendance included: Amazon, AIG, Bank of America, Bloomberg, Cushman & Wakefield, CVS, EY, Horizon Meida, International Rescue Committee, MTA, NYC DCAS, RSM, Target, Teach for America, and TIAA. We were also pleased to welcome new companies such as 60 Guilders, Blue Forest Technologies, Building Service 32BJ Benefit Funds, IAC, KISS Products, The David J Joseph Company, The Simons Foundations, and UrbanTech Consulting.
Historically, the Career Fair has been conducted in-person with employers setting up information tables, collecting resumes and meeting Baruch students face-to-face. This year, however, the Covid19 pandemic brought several challenges and restrictions to in-person events. In facing these restrictions, the Starr Center took the opportunity to use a new virtual approach to their biggest career event of the year.
While it was uncertain how successful the online platform would be, organizers were pleased to see that the virtual career fair successfully boasted an attendance of over 880 students who experienced over 2,700 virtual chats with employers on hand. Part of the virtual experience included Baruch students being able to upload their resume and interact with recruiters via individual video chats or in general group video chats. The virtual platform also offered students the ability to wait simultaneously in multiple employer queues, which was a virtual bonus feature over the traditional in-person career fairs where students wait in one line at a time.
Overall, the virtual event highlighted a helpful new platform that students of all class statuses appreciated. A recent Information Technology graduate mentioned how helpful the virtual career fair was during the pandemic,
“At a time when people are not able to meet outside, this fair gave an opportunity for students to interact with recruiters and learn about the opportunities that are out there. Similarly, recruiters got a chance to meet Baruch students.”
An accounting first year spoke to the sentiment behind their experience, stating,
“This experience has taught me that no matter the circumstances, people are still willing to go out of their way to further the lives of the upcoming generations.”
As anticipated with all new experiences, staff, employers and students alike had a learning curve in navigating the online platform. Some experienced delays or dropped chats which the staff addressed via a virtual help desk. The Starr Center has made a note of the challenges, is dedicated to improving the experience, and is confident that common issues will be resolved in future virtual career fairs.
All things considered, the Starr Career Development Center in partnership with the Graduate Career Management Center successfully hosted a safe virtual event that provided professional networking and opportunities for students to explore jobs and internships. Thankfully, this new virtual fair enabled students and employers to connect, at a time where our typical fair would have been impossible. The staff would like to thank all participants of the Fall 2020 Virtual Job and Internship Fair for participating and hopes to continue supporting the career advancement of Baruch students through innovative ways during this unprecedented time.