Making connections

Story by Shelby Van Slooten

Drake University students dressed their best to make valuable connections with business professionals on Feb. 14 during the annual career fair.

Drake hosts a variety of different career-field-focused events throughout the year, but this is one of the few open to students of all majors. The career fair was started as a way for its students to branch out and meet employers focused in Des Moines and the Midwest.

More than 100 company booths filled Parents Hall manned by professionals to network with Drake students.

“Walking up the stairs and seeing so many businesses was a little overwhelming at first,” said first-year business major Meghan Jones. “It took a couple booths for me to really get the hang of things.”

There were a myriad of  businesses in attendance, ranging from insurance companies like Aflac and marketing groups like the Iowa Events Center to non-profits like The Homestead and healthcare like Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, among many others.

The students dressed in business professional attire and came prepared with business cards and resumes, ready to expand their networks.

Laura Judge, who manned the Target booth, attended the fair for the first time as a professional this year.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Judge said. “But the students were incredibly intelligent, mature and professional.”

Drake prepares its students for events such as the career fair by putting them in as many professional situations as possible. The goal is that these events will help them gain the confidence it takes to interact with business professionals. The event also offered several break away lectures on how to better present oneself to potential employers.

Judge said all of this hard work and preparation paid off.

“We hire many Drake students and will continue to do so,” Judge said.

While the next career fair may be down the road, Jones said she will continue to strengthen the connections they made by utilizing email and LinkedIn.

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