Intern fair connects students with startups

By: Erica Lampert ~Staff Writer~

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Looking for an internship but not interested in shredding paper in a huge office building? Xavier’s fledgling Startup Internship Fair might be the right place to start your search. Xavier students will have the opportunity on Feb. 18 to meet representatives from several growing companies, learn about various paid internships, expand their networks and enjoy free pizza through the Startup Internship Fair.

The Center for Innovation (CFI) and the Career Development Office (CDO) are inviting several of Cincinnati’s small startup business to broadcast their companies to Xavier’s students in a casual environment. The internships are available for the spring and summer semesters and are aimed towards both graduate and undergraduate students. “This is a down to earth feeling of what a typical career fair looks like,” CDO Assistant Director Darian Richardson said.

“We want students to grow their networks as well as build relationships with these local companies while feeling comfortable to do so,” Richardson said. This is the second semester that the Career Development Office has held this fair. Last semester, more than 100 students came to connect with more than 10 different startup companies. This semester they are hoping for a larger turnout of students and to have more startup companies involved.

The CDO staff is willing to help students develop enhanced interview skills, write better resumes and search for a position in their desired career field.

“This is really a fantastic opportunity for students who are looking for summer internships to network with new and innovative companies in a less formal environment,” Richardson said.

Zip Scene, Gen Suite, Cerkl and Fanvester are just some of the small startup companies that plan to attend the fair. These companies are open to all students and are not just looking for business majors.

“These companies are looking for good people. They are looking for students who have good communication skills, have the ability to work well in teams and are able to think and problem solve, along with various other tasks most employers look for,” Richardson said.

The CDO’s vision is for these small startup companies to help students gain an understanding of how small businesses conduct their day-to-operations and what it takes to be successful in the business world.

“At the Spring Career Fair, students normally see a lot of big name companies, like the P&G (Procter & Gamble, Co.) companies of the world, but it is important that students know that they may actually learn more from working with these smaller companies than with the larger ones,” Richardson said. “Because these smaller companies already don’t have a ton of people working for them, students may be asked to do more, allowing them a bird eye view of the business world.”

This fair was started to allow these local startup companies an opportunity to connect with Xavier students beyond their connections at the CFI.

“We wanted to give these companies a chance to share their information, and what better way to do that then through a miniature version the larger career fairs?” Richardson said.

The Career and Development Office highly encourages students to attend, as these internships will allow students’ to apply their in-class learning to real life situations.

“These internships really allow students to gain a real world, hands-on experience,” Richardson said. “The only way to get that real world experience is by going out there and meeting with companies that are offering these types of opportunities. This is really a great way for students to test drive their careers.”

The fair will take place from 4-7 p.m. on Feb. 18 in the CFI. To find out more information about the event, students can visit the CDO prior to the fair.