Fall Career Fair helps students get their ‘foot in the door’

man talks to young woman at career fair table
More than 240 employers came to Mason's Fall Career Fair to recruit for internships, part-time jobs, and full-time positions, with start dates ranging from now through next summer. Photo by Cristian Torres/Strategic Communications

Thousands of George Mason University students and alumni weaved through numerous employer tables lined up around the lower level of the Johnson Center eager to find job opportunities at the Fall Career Fair. 

“I’m definitely looking to get my foot in the door with an internship starting this year,” said Lindsay Dombroff, a junior majoring in criminology, law, and society who was able to talk with recruiters from the National Security Agency.

The Fall Career Fair, on September 28 and 29, included more than 240 employers promoting internships, part-time jobs, and full-time positions, with start dates ranging from now through next summer.

“My career field is so broad, and there’s so many things I could do,” Dombroff said.

large groups of students checking out booth at a career fair
The Fall Career Fair brought in 3,000+ students across both days. Photo by Cristian Torres/Strategic Communications

The career fair, she said, “definitely helps narrow down my choices and puts me in a specific direction of where I want to go.”

The annual event brought in 3,178 students across both days, said Saskia Campbell, executive director of University Career Services.

“A lot of employers are starting their recruiting and hiring earlier and earlier,” Campbell said. “We want students to start early in doing their research and learning about the career opportunities and options that are out there.”

Abhijeet Ghadge, who’s pursuing a master’s degree in computer science, went specifically to talk with Amazon Web Services and Yahoo about full-time software development positions, for which, he said, he will now apply. 

It was helpful for Ghadge to talk one-on-one with recruiters and learn what preparations he needs to make to get the job he wants, he said.

Many of the employers had Mason alumni representing their company, including Capital One, Baker Concrete Construction, and Allan Myers.

Jennifer LoGiurato-Rider, campus recruiter for Allan Myers, attended the fair with Mason alum and Allan Myers Project Engineer Kassi Zeigler, BS Management ’20, and said they had already invited a few students to the next step in their application process.

Other employers had current Mason students helping with recruitment.

Asia Thomas, a senior business major, said she has held several internships with the U.S. Government Accountability Office and will start another with the agency in a few weeks. She stood behind the employer table, meeting with fellow students and telling them about interning at the government office.

“We want Mason students because we’re in the area in D.C., so we want to stay local,” Thomas said, highlighting one of the benefits of Mason being in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region.  

Some employers that are part of Mason’s on-campus interview program are looking to fill interviews scheduled for later this semester, Campbell said. Students can find positions and interview schedules in Handshake, a portal that connects students and employers. 

That way, Campbell said, “You don’t have to wonder how serious they are, when they are going to hire, or how long it is going to take. These employers are ready to act and expedite moving students to the interview phase.”

For many, the Fall Career Fair has been a key step in planning for the future.