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Prepare to Impress

Falcons flock to Career Fair to network, interview, land jobs.

For an afternoon, at least, the stars on the Dana Center basketball court weren’t wearing baggy shorts, tank tops and sneakers. The headliners of Bentley’s spring semester Career Fair wore pressed shirts, suits, ties and heels.

Students flocked to lower campus on a sun-splashed February day to meet with more than 100 potential employers. Whether seeking full-time work, looking to land an internship, or just hoping to enhance their interpersonal skills, Bentley’s finest left a lasting impression on recruiters.

“Employers say that Bentley students are very well prepared, polished, professional and mature,” said Jennifer Thibodeau, employer relations manager at the Miller Center for Career Services. “As you can see, everyone here has a business suit on, and they take these career fairs very seriously.”

The employers take these fairs seriously as well, including Jason Dakow of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts. “We’ve been coming here for years,” said Dakow. “We find that the overall audit and accounting experience of the students here is second to none, so it’s beneficial for us to tap into Bentley’s talent.

“I go to about 50-55 of these events a year, and the Bentley students are always well prepared,” added Dakow. “In my experience, very few students show this type of initiative, and few schools encourage the students to develop such a professional presence.”

Sure, some students may be born with presence – the “it” factor – but most develop it over time. The Miller Center urges all students to attend, even underclassmen. “We tell freshmen not to be intimidated by career fairs,” said Thibodeau. “It’s a great networking opportunity, and gives younger students a chance to see what will be expected of them in the coming years.”

Armed with a black portfolio, Ryan Redmond ’15 heeded Thibodeau’s advice and took to the gym floor for a few hours. Although stymied by a dearth of internship opportunities for sophomores, he realized the value of rehearsing for his final two years.

“A lot of these companies are offering leadership programs that are targeted for sophomores,” said Redmond. “That’s where I’ve focused so I can get a good finance internship from the same company next year.”

While the expected financial management and consulting firms had a healthy presence, students also met with the Boston Celtics, the Boston Ballet, American Tower, Panera Bread, the MBTA, Wolverine, and the Alzheimer’s Association. The United States Marine Corps and the Peace Corp each had a table – on opposite sides of the gym.

“There are a wide variety of classes offered at Bentley that prepare students for the real business world,” said recruiter Kristine Clements, a Boston Scientific analyst and Bentley alumna. “Bentley students are very knowledgeable, have a great drive and are proactive, so they’re well-prepared to hit the ground running.”