By Myrka Vega
More than 200 UCLA Luskin students and graduates got a chance to connect with potential employers at the annual Job and Internship Career Fair on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.
Held at the UCLA Ackerman Grand Ballroom, the fair drew more than 60 employers, many represented by UCLA Luskin alumni who had returned to recruit graduates from all three departments — Social Welfare, Urban Planning and Public Policy.
Barbara Spyrou MPP ’17 of the Los Angeles County Office of Child Protection, who had attended career fairs during her years at the Luskin School, said it was different being on the other side of the table.
“It’s nice to see it from both perspectives,” Spyrou said. “I think the most exciting part is when you see someone really excited about this work and you’re like, ‘Yeah, let’s make a connection!’ ”
Recruiters from a wide swath of industries came to UCLA looking for talented, passionate employees and interns. Graduate students and alumni looking for full-time jobs, internships and fellowships gathered at the fair ready to network.
“I’m interested in transportation, and there are transportation firms here that I am specifically interested in working at when I graduate,” said Kidada Malloy, a second-year MURP student. “I got to talk with them, I got to make connections, I got some business cards, and I got to learn more about the actual projects that they’re working on.”
Krystal Sims of LA Family Housing, which provides homeless services and real estate development, came to the career fair to fill both full-time and internship positions. Within the first 30 minutes, she had already spoken to 10 to 15 candidates.
“We are looking for individuals that are really innovative and passionate about the work that we do,” Sims said. “Anyone that’s interested in working for homeless services, there’s an opportunity out there.”
The UCLA-based WORLD Policy Analysis Center was represented by Rachel Bleetman and Brianna Pierce. Bleetman said the enthusiasm level was high at the fair, and Pierce said she was impressed by the UCLA Luskin crowd.
“We’ve met some great students, and they seem really excited about the next steps in their careers,” Pierce said.
A series of workshops held before the fair prepared the students to clearly communicate their goals and make a strong first impression.
The fair’s 62 employers represented an increase over previous years, so the event had to be moved to a larger venue, said Executive Director of External Programs and Career Services VC Powe.
“It was bursting in there because there were so many people,” including a striking number of alumni representing employers, she said.
“Our alumni really turned out, and I am really excited about that. More than half of the employers were alumni,” Powe said. “Students can not only talk to them about jobs right now, but they felt more comfortable saying, ‘Can I call you later and have a cup of coffee?’ ”
View additional photos on Flickr.