Business Career Expo 2023 Draws Hundreds of Students, Reps from Top Corporations

More than 50 employers attended the event, including sponsors Cigna, Corbin Advisors, Otis Elevator, Henkel, The Hartford Financial, and Aldi as well as other top firms such as Natwest, and Point72.

Students gathered at the Student Union Ballroom on Wed. September 13 for the Annual School of Business Career Expo. (Contributed Photo)

Anna Zerbinati, a senior majoring in financial management, had a strategy for impressing corporate recruiters at the School of Business Career Expo on Wednesday.

“I’ve done my research on the companies and I know what jobs they have available. I want to show them how much I want to work there,’’ Zerbinati said. She hoped her enthusiasm, attention to detail, and fluency in Portuguese would help her make a strong impression.

Dressed in a red blouse, an intentional choice, she stood out in a sea of gray and black professional attire. “I know it is competitive hiring market,’’ she said, surrounded by her UConn peers. “But it’s nothing we can’t get over.’’

The Business Career Expo drew hundreds of students to the Student Union Ballroom. All were eager to make connections and learn about full-time jobs, internships and other opportunities.

More than 50 employers attended the event, including sponsors Cigna, Corbin Advisors, Otis Elevator, Henkel, The Hartford Financial, and Aldi as well as other top firms such as Natwest, and Point72.

“They are the Future of Successful Companies”

Kathy Hendrickson, director of the Business Career Development Office, said she and her team were excited to have a strong employer presence on campus. Research shows that personal interactions are critical to pairing students and potential employers.

Career advisers had equipped students with targeted employer information and prepared students to quickly highlight their professional skills and experiences. She said the energy at the event was unmatched. This year’s event was the most well-attended in its nine-year history, despite torrential rain.

“Adaptability, innovation and curiosity helped our students to become resilient during the last few years,’’ she said “Our students are ready for the challenges of today’s workforce and proved to our top employers that they are the future of successful companies.’’

Connection Led to Internship

Julia Ghagare attended the Expo last year, as a freshman, and made a connection that led to an internship at Otis, working in sales in the Boston office. The experience was invaluable, she said.

Ghagare, a marketing major, returned to the Expo on Wednesday, seeking a new experience in marketing of consumer goods. She was eager to meet the people from Synchrony and Henkel and is also reaching out to P&G and Unilever.

“My approach is to be truly engaged in conversation. I always have questions ready to ask,’’ she said. She is deeply interested in sustainability and would welcome the chance to explore how companies can creatively package their goods with minimal waste.

Recent Alum Offers Advice for Job Searchers

Alumna Chloe Sainsbury ’22, who is in the rotational leadership program at Synchrony Financial, was excited to be back on campus and meeting students.

“I’m having a good time and enjoying giving back,’’ she said. “If I can offer advice, as someone who graduated recently, I’m happy to do so. I know this job-search process all too well and remember the stress. I hope to offer some comfort to job seekers.’’

Sainsbury said as she is seeking people who are excited about analytics, who ask good questions, and seek to make a genuine connection. “I’m a bubbly person and I like bubbly people, too,’’ she said.

Synchrony’s leadership rotation program offers formal mentoring, social opportunities, and skill development, and has made the transition from student to professional much easier, she said.

“All the young employees are learning together,’’ she said. “I’m so happy with this company and with this program, so I can speak about my personal experience.’’

Recruiters Eager to Promote Workplaces

UConn alumnus William Youngstrom ’20, an associate at Natwest, said he was impressed by the student interest and the depth of the questions they asked.

“We’re looking for students who are engaging and can hold a conversation, who have taken time to research our company and what we do,’’ said Youngstrom, who earned his degree in economics at UConn. “We want people who are eager to learn, excited to get a foot in the door, and focused on providing value for the company.’’

Nearby, alumnus Joseph Notaro ’16 MBA, director of Interest Rate Sales at Natwest, said he would have appreciated having that opportunity to meet people in finance when he was an undergraduate and was glad to assist those following in his footsteps.

Marija Kojcinovic, regional credit manager at Henkel, said the company is seeking well-prepared students with high GPAs, who have a ‘can do’ attitude and are eager to learn. The company was looking to meet graduate students for full-time positions and undergrads who are interested in summer internships.

And while the students were eager to make an impression, the corporations were equally excited to promote their businesses as a great place to work.

“We are an international company and working here involves talking to people around the world,’’ Kojcinovic said. “Henkel is a company where the employees are friendly, a company with diverse teams, and a great place for young people to find opportunities to learn and grow in their profession.’’