Over 100 students refused to let the snow keep them from joining 64 professionals, most of them alumni, and the Communication Department faculty during the 4th Annual Communication Career Event in Wilson Hall on March 3rd. The fair consisted of eight discussion panels followed by a networking event featuring 21 employers.
Chad Dell, Chair of the Communication Department and organizer of the event, said he was very happy about how the event has grown over the last four years. “When we first started, students didn’t know what to wear to this event, but now students are wearing ties, dresses and even bringing resumes. The students have stepped up their game and impressed the career professionals that come to this event” he said.
Approximately 161 students pre-registered for the Communication Career Fair, as well as 85 alumni professionals and faculty. Students and faculty were also encouraged to participate in the event, regardless of whether or not they were pre-registered.
The event featured two sets of panel discussions to give students an opportunity to engage with career professionals and receive applicable career advice. The first panel was held from 2:15 pm to 3:15 pm and the second from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Discussions were geared towards each of the different communication clusters, including Radio, Television & Film, Comm Studies, Entrepreneurship and Journalism.
A faculty moderator headed the panel discussions, while the panels included University alumni and other career professionals who answered questions and gave advice about their respective field. Dell, as well as other faculty members in the department, reached out to former students as well as personal connections to populate the discussion panels. “Its important to hear stories of alumni who came before them. Having professionals, or even people a year or two out of college, offering advice to current students is really important,” said Dell.
Brian Morelli, an alumni who currently works for Press Communication as an on-air personality for Thunder 106, said, “This networking event is important for the students. I can’t imagine why someone who is a communication major wouldn’t be at this event, this is where the experts are …. We all started here and we all have advice on how to succeed.”
Immediately following the discussion panels was a networking event where employers from companies such as the Asbury Park Press, MY 9, Press Communications, Fox 5, Townsquare Media and Yashi were present. The networking allowed for students to get one-on-one face time with the professionals on the panels as well as seek out potential internships or job opportunities.
“I came to this event last year and was offered an internship from the MLB Network,” said Gabrielle D’Cunto, a senior majoring in Radio/TV.
This year, D’Cunto used the event as a job search and to talk to professionals about resume tips and building her portfolio.
Matt O’Reilly, a representative from Yashi, an on-line video advertising company, was glad to be a part of the event. “I have never been to a networking event like this before and overall it was great. I met good people from the area.” O’Reilly liked the event because he could tell that students were genuinely interested in their futures.
“I would definitely come to an event like this because we need students who are serious about their futures. As a fast growing company, its possible to hire someone from this event, because to be honest, we just need people.”
Joseph DeAngelis, a sophomore, was eager to participate in the fair despite his grade. “Its never too early to attend events where media professionals are talking about the field. Four years in college might seem like a long time,” DeAngelis continued, “but I don’t want to scramble at the last minute looking for an internship or even a career opportunity.”
Dell said that this event served multiple purposes. “I wanted students to be exposed to people with expertise in their fields. I also wanted students to hear the diversity of jobs they can obtain with a communication degree. The skillsets you learn here can translate to over 100 different occupations.”
D’Cunto felt that the event has been getting better each year. “There are more students here than last year and there are a good amount of [employers] here. I am very satisfied with this event.”
“Last year I was on a panel and it was nerve wracking, because I was the only ‘young guy’. This year, I feel the event was put together very well. There were more recent grads and the panels were better able to connect with the students,” said Morelli.
DeAngelis thinks it’s helpful that the communication department has its own career fair; separate from the more general career fair hosted each semester by Career Services. “I think its great that the communication department has a specific event tailored for communication majors, because its easier to find out who you want to talk to.”
“Its helpful to have a career fair where everyone is speaking the language of communication,” said Dell.
“I hope students learn to take full advantage of all of the opportunities Monmouth presents. Whether you write for the paper or have a radio show, its important to take advantage. It is equally important to learn from people who succeeded by taking full advantage,” said Dell. “This networking event allows students to make connections early which leads to good advice and career opportunities.”
PHOTO COURTESY of Kendal Hand