Global Makers Career Fair: The International Contrast

by Harshit Juneja | staff writer

Walking through the second floor of Stewart Center for the Global Maker Career Fair, I saw the stark difference between the Industrial Roundtable and the Global Maker Career Fair. The organizers of the career fair were situated in a small booth outside of room 218 of Stewart Center, helping aspiring international and bilingual students get their name tags and hand them maps for the eighteen company tables. As I entered the main room I saw the employers whom Icould count on the fingers of my hands and a bunch of tables arranged in an orderly fashion. Taking a quick 360-degree glance I saw a few students who had come to try their luck on scoring an interview for internships and full-time jobs. In the corners of the room I could see a few disinterested employers who were consistently checking their cell phones, probably calculating the time left in the fair. To add to all this, I found out that the two companies I came looking for did not even show up for the career fair. Nevertheless, I got involved in the usual process of distributing my one-page life history and trying to get employers to consider a freshman for their internship program. I was, however, surprised by the attention the employers gave to me, maybe because a few students showed up or maybe because I improved since the last career fair.

However, attending this career fair, I found the disparities between the “domestic” and the “international” career fairs. International students make up a large part of the student body at Purdue and the career fair that is specifically focused for the internationals should have been a better one. A potential reason could be that small companies don’t want international students as a part of their system as it involves a lot of paper work and government sanctions. The large companies, which could afford all those pains didn’t show up. So overall, it was a nicely organized but a poorly conceptualized career fair.