Bentley University Homepage Feature
For an afternoon, at least, the stars on the Dana Center basketball court weren’t wearing baggy shorts, tank tops and high-top sneakers. The headliners of Bentley’s spring semester career fair, hosted by the Miller Center for Career Services, were wearing pressed shirts, dark suits, ties and heels.
Just days after a brutal blizzard blasted Boston, students flocked to lower campus on a sun-splashed February day to meet with more than 100 potential employers. Whether seeking a full-time job, looking to land an internship, or just hoping to enhance their interpersonal skills, Bentley’s finest dressed the part as they left a lasting impression on recruiters.
“According to the feedback we receive from employers, they say that Bentley students are very well prepared, polished, professional and mature,” said Jennifer Thibodeau, employer relations manager at the Miller Center for Career Services. “As you can see, everyone here has a business suit on, and they take these career fairs very seriously.”
The employers take these fairs seriously as well, especially Jason Dakow of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts. “We’ve been coming here for years,” said Dakow. “We find that the overall audit and accounting experience of the students here is second to none, so it’s beneficial for us to tap into Bentley’s talent.
“I go to about 50-55 of these events a year, and the Bentley students are always well prepared and professionally dressed,” added Dakow. “In my experience, very few students show this type of initiative, and few schools encourage the students to develop such a professional presence.”
Sure, some students may be born with presence – the “it” factor – but most develop it over time. The Miller Center for Career Services urges all students to attend the career fairs, even underclassmen. “We tell freshmen not to be intimidated by career fairs, and we encourage them to attend,” said Thibodeau. “It’s a great networking opportunity, and gives younger students a chance to see what will be expected of them in the coming years.”
Armed with a black portfolio, Ryan Redmond ’15 heeded Thibodeau’s advice and took to the gym floor for a few hours. Although frustrated at the lack of internship opportunities for sophomores, he realized the value of setting the stage for his final two years.
“A lot of these companies are offering leadership programs that are targeted for sophomores, and this is where I’ve focused so I can get a good finance internship from the same company next year,” said Redmond. “I also got good practice for the future. After my first two or three meetings today, I realized that I should be working on improving my tone, clarity, and other things. So it’s worth hanging around for a few hours and exploring what companies are here.”
While the standard financial management and consulting firms had a healthy presence, as expected, the Boston Celtics, the Boston Ballet, American Tower, Panera Bread, the MBTA, Wolverine, and the Alzheimer’s Association were also on hand. The United States Marine Corps and the Peace Corp each had a table – on opposite sides of the gym, of course.
“There are a wide variety of classes offered at Bentley that prepare students for the real business world,” said Kristine Clements, a Boston Scientific analyst and Bentley alumna who was recruited at a career fair. “Bentley students are very knowledgeable, have a great drive and are proactive, so they’re well-prepared to hit the ground running.”