By: Katherine O'Toole, Maryland Media Relations Assistant
The University of Maryland’s Fall Career & Internship Fair took place September 24-26 and included a networking event specifically for Terrapin student-athletes on Wednesday evening in Heritage Hall at Comcast Center.
The event brought together student-athletes and potential employers. Student-athletes were able to utilize recently instilled tactics, including the 60-second elevator pitch, to effectively network at Wednesday’s event.
Students appreciated the resources the University made available and also acknowledge the work of people like Ziz Abdur-Ra’oof, director at Student Welfare Career Development, who help notify students of these kinds of events and help them to prepare.
“It’s nice that people like Ziz reach out and email us to give us a heads up about something like this,” Bradlee Lord, a sophomore lacrosse player, said. “It’s just a good opportunity to meet somebody that’s kind of gone through the same experience as you.”
Abdur-Ra’oof felt the event was a huge success. “It was great to see so many student-athletes take initiative in seeking opportunities beyond the classroom with potential employers,” he said. “We are also appreciative and thankful to the many companies who are investing time and energy in our student-athletes.”
It can be difficult for student-athletes to find the time to create connections and relationships with potential employers around their busy class and practice schedules. That is where university-sponsored events can really be vital and make a huge difference.
Maryam Fikri, a senior on the track & field team, attended the event and found it very useful. “Being an athlete, it’s hard to devote a lot of time to career management,” she said. “The fact that we have a time set for us to come and meet employers is very helpful.”
Potential employers, too, find this event very useful for recruiting. Christine Goodwin works for AT&T recruiting and attended the event Wednesday. “Anytime that there’s a school like Maryland that brings together students and employers in an intimate setting like this, we really take advantage of it,” Goodwin said.
“This event in particular, meeting athletes has been a benefit for us. We consider athletes and their competitive nature, knowledge on how to reach goals, ability to work on a team and yet understand the individual contribution. They’re very valuable to us.”