Elms students met with area employer representatives at the December 2014 career fair.

Elms College Career Fair

Elms students met with employer representatives at the December career fair in Berchmans Gym.

Career Fair Connects Students, Employers

Preparing students to connect with the wider world is a mission Elms College takes very seriously. At yesterday’s career fair in Berchmans Gym, students met with potential employers, practiced their interviewing skills and learned about new career paths.

Freshman Brenna Nichols is a nursing major, but she stopped by the career fair looking for work with any company that might be a good fit. “Elms has a good reputation,” she pointed out. She was banking on that good reputation to help land her a part-time position.

Some 40 companies were in attendance, including Liberty Mutual, the Peace Corps, Enterprise, Valley Blue Sox, W.B. Mason, Fit Solutions (an IT company) and the Boys & Girls Club.

Mental-health-services company The Bridge of Central Massachusetts had set up a table to help fill the growing need in its 48 programs with top-notch students. And, after all, “Elms is a good school,” said company rep Kim Jeznach.

“The companies were very happy,” said Nancy Davis, director of career development at Elms, who organized the event. “They saw a lot of students, and they were very appreciative of the way that they approached – the polish with which the students presented.” Several students stopped on the way out to tell Davis they had already scheduled interviews.

Some companies were represented by Elms alumni, including Burkhart Pizzanelli CPA of West Springfield, Mass., which boasted two alumni at the fair: Julie Quink ’91, a partner in the firm and adjunct faculty in the Elms MBA program, and Tyler Cudnik ’14, who will complete his MBA this week. Quink and Cudnik stood behind a career fair table to look for winter interns to work on the company’s tax side.

Two other alumni, Salema Harold ’12 and Lynette Reyes ’12, were on hand to represent Verizon.

Coming back to Elms to scout out potential interns and employees is only natural for employers, Quink said. “The students get a great education here … The quality of the students from Elms is so high. Hands-down, they’re so much more well-rounded [than others].”

A big reason for that is the college’s focus on social justice, and the interdisciplinary way that mission is woven into the fabric of academics and campus life. “Education is just one piece of the circle of things we need to be responsible for and aware of,” Quink said. “That well-roundedness makes Elms students more marketable.”