With spring in the air, hope was springing eternal at the second of Vaughn College's two annual career fairs on Thursday (April 12). Companies hoping to find a new generation of employees came together with students hoping to find the next great opportunity.
From all indications, both groups left satisfied.
"Vaughn has a great product," said Matt Fortin, recruiter for JetBlue, the Long Island City-based airline that is a regular at Vaughn career fairs. "The school produces quality graduates, and the advantage to us is that it is local."
Vaughn hosts traditional career fairs in the fall and spring semesters; this year the Office of Career Services added an online job fair to give dispersed alumni and even distance-learning students a leg up on opportunities. More than 40 companies attended on Thursday, up from 32 in the fall.
Some students, including Sofia Merzovsky, will soon graduate and are hard at work in the job-search process. Others, such as Cory Clark, a freshman, are laying the foundation for future opportunities.
Merzovsky is a distance-learning student enrolled in the airport management program and traveled all the way from North Providence, R.I. for Thursday's event. The three-hour journey was well worth it, she said.
"In Rhode Island, I had been applying online for jobs all the time and I couldn't make a contact," Merzovsky said. "Here, I already have been able to meet a few people. Hopefully, it pays off."
Clark, an airport/airline management student, hoped to secure an internship or part-time position that will pay off later.
"This allows you to network with companies you're interested in three years before you graduate," Clark said.
Other airlines in attendance included Delta, Air Wisconsin and Air Canada. Aviation employers AvPorts and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and government agencies such as the New York City and Nassau County police departments were also represented.
First-time attendees included JPMorgan Chase, Cablevision, Vector Marketing and the government contracting firm Mil-Spec Industries, eager to raise its profile among Vaughn students.
"We're a niche company so we're doing a little better than a lot of firms in this economy," sales and marketing director Ayse Erguner said. "We look for people who have technical minds and mechanical minds."
Students can seek out career services assistance through Director Philip Meade at 718.429.6600 ext. 189 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Associate Director Jessica Caron at 718.429.6600 ext. 148 or email@example.com. The department's web interface — www.myinterfase.com/vaughn/student — enables students and alumni to post résumés and view career resources.
VAUGHN COLLEGE SPRING CAREER FAIR: Students network with potential employers Thursday; below, Richard Moreira and Karla Astudillo chat with Victor Galloway from Vector Marketing.