Representatives from 55 companies and organizations were eager to meet current Cardinals during the North Central College Job and Internship Fair on Sept. 28 in Stevenson Hall in the Wentz Science Center. Open to students from all majors, the annual event is an opportunity to connect with employers from a variety of industries while building confidence and career skills.
“We are so grateful to all of the valued employer partners who attended this year’s fair,” said Bailey Bushman, executive director, Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD). “More than 300 students attended — approximately a 50 percent increase from last year. Connections were made, insights were gained, and opportunities were created. Seeing students forge professional relationships and explore their career and professional development interests was really the highlight of the day.”
Employers at the event came from a variety of industries and fields, including manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, construction, financial services, telecommunications, logistics, healthcare, and non-profit. They met North Central students from across the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business and Entrepreneurship, and the School of Education and Health Sciences.
Whether students sought internships, full-time jobs or other opportunities, the goal of the fair was to facilitate access to industry leaders and professionals. It was also a chance to practice networking skills. “It’s common to feel nervous about attending a career fair,” Bushman said. “But the CCPD team is here to help them prepare to put their best foot forward — and we do that all year round.”
Tahbata Zuniga Diaz '24 is a career peer advisor with the CCPD. She worked behind the scenes at the fair and attended as a job seeker, as well. Diaz is majoring in political science and English and she is co-editor of The Chronicle student news magazine. A first-generation college student, Zuniga chose to attend North Central because she could see her goals and success would be supported. “They really made it seem like I could go to college,” she said, noting that many of those behind the employer tables at the fair were once Cardinals themselves.
Among the alumni representing their workplace were:
Alyson Walz ’23 - An environmental scientist at Baxter and Woodman Consulting Engineers in Mokena, Ill., Walz was an environmental studies major at North Central. While still a student, she interned with the City of Naperville as a wastewater lab technician, which helped prepare her to join a growing company after graduation.
Zachary Hamaker ’18 MBA ’19 - An accountant at Gray Hunter Stenn LLP in Oak Brook, Ill., he works with entrepreneurial companies in manufacturing, construction, professional services, and other industries. At North Central, Hamaker majored in accounting, played on the baseball team, was a resident assistant, and served as president of the Student Accounting Society.
Francisco Martinez ’21 - An engineering manager at Navistar in Lisle, Ill., Martinez was in one of the first cohorts to graduate from North Central’s engineering program. While majoring in mechanical engineering, he interned at Navistar the summer before his senior year and had a job offer before he graduated.