New Website, Expanded Career Fair Options Rolled Out for Job-Hunting Students

A young woman talks to an employer at a career fair Image by Ed Brennen
Students in search of internships, co-ops and full-time jobs have four industry-specific career fairs to choose from this fall, starting with the Careers in Business Fair on Sept. 28 at University Crossing.

By Ed Brennen

Returning students will notice several changes to the Career & Co-op Center this fall, starting with its new website.

“The new site makes it easier for students to find information in fewer clicks,” says Greg Denon, associate dean for career services and cooperative education. “It’s more dynamic, with event feeds, job feeds and blogs. We’re super-excited about it, and students seem to be loving it.”

The Career & Co-op Center has also expanded in scope to include the university’s Immersive Scholars and River Hawk Experience Distinction (RHED) programs, as well as the Student Employment office – moves that “makes sense,” according to Denon.
“All of these programs give students the opportunity to develop skills, explore new areas and get meaning from those experiences, which is what career development is all about,” he says.

Career Fairs

Students will also notice a change in format for the Fall Career Fair, which has been divided into four specialty fairs, starting with the Careers in Business Fair on Thursday, Sept. 28 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at University Crossing.

That will be followed by:
  • Careers in STEM Fair (Thursday, Oct. 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Tsongas Center)
  • Careers in Health Care Fair (Monday, Nov. 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Coburn Hall), and
  • Careers in Human & Public Services Fair (Tuesday, Nov. 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Coburn Hall)
One reason for the change is that “we were running out of space at the Tsongas Center and wanted to bring in more companies,” Denon says. “Employers like UMass Lowell students, and they want more.”

There will be more than 60 companies hiring at the business fair, and the health care and human & public services fairs are both “sold out,” with 35 companies each. More than 130 companies are registered for the STEM fair.

Offering more targeted fairs benefits both students and employers, Denon adds.
“Employers like UMass Lowell students, and they want more.” -Assoc. Dean for Career Services and Cooperative Education Greg Denon

For example, at a general career fair, a company such as Fidelity Investments typically draws a line of business majors, which can deter STEM majors from waiting to talk with its recruiters. At the STEM Fair, Denon says, computer science or math majors will have an easier time talking to Fidelity representatives about its tech-related opportunities.

Nonprofit organizations that “tend to get overshadowed by Fortune 100 companies” at the Tsongas Center career fair, meanwhile, will have a chance to “shine” at the Human & Public Services Fair at Coburn Hall, Denon says.

The Spring Career Fair, scheduled for March 21 at the Tsongas Center, will remain a general event for all majors. That will be followed by the annual Careers in Criminal Justice & Security Fair on April 4.

New Website

The Career & Co-op Center’s reimagined website includes several new features to help students learn about careers and find internships, co-ops and jobs.

Students can now explore career options in seven different clusters, including “Arts, Media and Communications,” “Energy, Environment and Sustainability” and “Health Care and Wellness.”

Each cluster has a page with job trends, including required technical skills, top employers and annual earnings, that can be searched nationwide or by state. The information is compiled and updated by Lightcast, a labor market analytics firm.

Each page also includes current job and internship opportunities related to that cluster. Students can read the job descriptions, and if they click to apply, they are taken to Handshake, the recruiting platform used by the university.

The new site features a wealth of articles and blog posts, which are written by UML staff members or provided by uConnect, the host platform. There are also hundreds of short videos highlighting career paths, some featuring UML students and others produced by Candid Career.

Every UML student now receives a weekly email from the Career & Co-op Center with information relevant to their career cluster, which is determined by their major. Students can customize their email notifications to receive information from other clusters.

One of the biggest benefits of the new website, says Career Services Director Kerry Willard Bray, is that information that used to be behind a firewall is now available for students, alumni, faculty, staff and even family members.

“If a faculty member is talking to a student in their office about a summer internship, they can go to the site and look at the opportunities,” she says. “This is going to be much easier for students to use and get access to information.”