Connecting Your Education to a Career

University of Maryland University College (UMUC) held its annual Spring Career Fair on March 10, drawing more than 50 employers and 800 job-seeking UMUC students and alumni to a ballroom at the College Park Marriott. For those who could not attend in person, a virtual fair attracted another 24 employers and more than 500 job seekers online.

From global tech firms to local law enforcement agencies, the list of employers and job openings was impressive and extensive, as were the UMUC students and alumni who were armed with resumes and other material to demonstrate their experience and skills.

Scott Saunders, a sergeant with the Middletown (Del.) Police Department, was looking to hire two patrol officers for a growing force of about 35. He said candidates did not necessarily need to have a background or degree in criminal justice.

“We are interested in people with degrees in a variety of areas,” Saunders said. “For example, we recently hired someone who has a degree in social work. That’s important because of the ability to work with and solve issues with people.”

Laura Marchese just started her MBA at UMUC and was interested to learn more about what companies here may be looking for in their hires. Prior to moving to the U.S. about a year ago because of her husband’s career, she worked for Proctor & Gamble in Italy and in London for more than 15 years.

“I was a scientist and moved into technical marketing,” said Marchese, who chose UMUC’s MBA program because of its diverse student body—and because she’ll be able to continue her education if her husband is transferred back to Europe or another location overseas. She is interested in product development and hopes to use her skills and her degree to take her career to the next level.

In addition to meeting employers, attendees at the fair could get assistance with their resumes, talk to career advisors and even have professional head shots taken at no charge.

In a very direct way, “we’re connecting attendees’ education with their career,” said Nikki Sandoval, associate vice president for alumni relations and career services. And by the looks of the lines snaking around the ballroom to get face-time with employers, the event was a huge success.