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Student experience attracts employers to career fair

Recruiter Lauren Matthews, a 2006 Northeastern graduate, speaks with senior economics major Dashawn Bristol at Wednesday’s Spring Career Fair. Photo by Mike Mazzanti.

Senior economics major Dashawn Bristol did his homework in preparation for Northeastern’s Spring Career Fair, which attracted thousands of students and more than 150 employers to Cabot Cage on Wednesday.

“I did research in advance and identified 10 companies I knew I wanted to talk to,” Bristol said in between interviews at the career fair, which was sponsored by the university’s career services office. “I’ve had some great conversations that seem promising and now I’m talking to companies I may not have considered before learning about all the options here.”

Like many Northeastern students on the cusp of graduation, Bristol noted the importance of finding a perfect professional match. As he put it, “You want to find something you like, not just something you have to jump for because you have no other choice.”

Employers at the fair praised Northeastern’s co-op program for preparing students for the working world and giving them an advantage over their peers when it comes to snagging top job choices.

“We’re a very driven company and we’re growing quickly, so we’re looking for managers who can run their own team in a few months and their own office in just a few years,” said MJ Paradiso, BA’10, a sales manager for the Boston branch of Meltwater, an international company that develops software for businesses. “Co-op gives a great boost to any potential employee, so we’re always looking for people with the right experience.”

Lauren Matthews, AS’06, an on-site human resources representative at Staples, said Northeastern students often fit the bill for positions she is trying to fill.

“I work a lot with recent college graduates and I look for someone who is eager, can thrive in stressful situations and is definitely eager to learn,” Matthews said. “Northeastern is a great place to find someone like that.”

Some students at the career fair, such as freshman engineering management major Neha Panchdhar, sought out co-op or internship opportunities. 

“We have summers, we have free time, we have co-op,” she said. “Why not start looking now for a great experience?”