The Spectator

Students swarm Internship Mania in search of jobs

Story by Katie Knick, Staff Writer

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Bubbling, nervous and excited banter was the music of the room as the Davies Center swelled with eager students seeking jobs and internships at Internship Mania. The affair represented 101 businesses and companies in search of future employees, and well over 100 students hoping to fill those positions.

Staci Heidke, UW-Eau Claire’s coordinator for the event, was pleased with the turnout.

“The students are here, prepared, and looking great,” said Heidke, “Turnout has gone up dramatically since last year.”

Internship Mania provides opportunities for Eau Claire students to find jobs and internships, gain experience interacting with potential employers and form relationships with other people in their field of study.

“This is so good for the networking elevator pitch,” said Heidke, referring to the ability of students and company recruiters to interact and specifically on students’ ability to work on pitching themselves quickly and effectively.

Heidke said networking is beneficial to all disciplines, and simply knowing professionals in a particular field of study can create irreplaceable avenues for furthering a career.

When it came to the dress code, Heidke said students were encouraged to come prepared and informed. The various employment opportunities offered were posted on the Eau Claire website, including each company’s sought-after majors and responsibilities of interns.

Eryn Evander is the Talent Acquisition Coordinator for the North Star Resource Group.

“I’m much more likely to remember a student who introduces themselves immediately and speaks knowledgeably about our business,” she said. “I want to know that they’ve spent some time on our website.”

Most companies represented at Internship Mania list business as a beneficial major. However, many booths, including North Star’s, expressed interest in candidates from other fields of study.

“We purposefully don’t look for a specific major. Sometimes more irrelevant majors are good because the interns form a sort of coaching relationship with their bosses,” Evander said.

Students were encouraged to come with resumes and expecting a casual, short job interview setting. The booths spread across the Ojibwe Ballroom represented each company, and a representative stood in front of each table. Students filed into the room after filling out nametags and walked the aisles, searching for the businesses in which they had taken an interest. However, there was often more to a company’s appeal than just its job description.

Sophomore Shelby Heinemann had another big consideration.

“I’m interested in one out of the state for sure,” said Heinemann, a math major.

Many of the choices at the event offered options outside of Wisconsin or Minnesota and demonstrating flexibility to move away for the job is beneficial.

Students arrived well-dressed and with resume in hand. The employers were impressed not only with turnout, but with the preparedness of the students.

One complaint came from a few freshmen non-business majors, including Emma Brandt. Those who had not attended Internship Mania before did not know what to expect. Unless they were on the business major email list, they were unaware of the dress code.

“I was intimidated,” Brandt said. “I wish I knew about the atmosphere beforehand.”

Despite some students lacking information, many others found value in marketing themselves as well as searching for the internships that are so crucial to advancement in their careers.

“Internships are an excellent way for students to get relevant experience and is a relatively simple way to get a full-time job,” Heidke said. “Students need to make career decisions, set goals, and go from there.”

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Students swarm Internship Mania in search of jobs