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        Career Fair, College

        Harbert career fair plays matchmaker for nearly 1,000 students

        February 24, 2023 By Troy Turner

        All News


        Recruiter and student spring23 Harbert career fair

        Insight Global was among the 84 companies recruiting Harbert students at the Spring 2023 Harbert Career Fair. Brooks Nordgren (right) interviews a Harbert student.

        Hundreds of Harbert College of Business students donned their finest business attire, spruced up their resume and practiced locked-in eye contact as part of their interview skills to meet with representatives from the several dozen prospective employers attending the 2023 Spring Career Fair.

        Although Harbert hosts several smaller career fairs throughout the year often aimed at specific professions, the all-come spring fair open to any business students featured 84 companies seeking to fill positions in a wide spectrum of job needs ranging from marketing, sales and general management, to analytics, accounting, information technology and supply chain management. Some talked internships, others talked full-time jobs after graduation.

        All, however, seemed to consider the event worthwhile for the hands-on experience of interviewing with a prospective employer, or vice versa with companies trying to recruit the next rising star. Between 900 and 1,000 students participated in the event, organizers said, which was hosted Feb. 21 at Horton-Hardgrave Hall.

        “The mission of Harbert College of Business is to produce highly qualified candidates for the workforce. We do a very good job of that at Harbert, and employers realize that,” said Liesl Reiners, assistant director of curriculum and assessment. “Here at fairs like this, we want students and employers to have that opportunity to meet.”

        That’s an exciting opportunity for students, especially those who have little experience in actual job or internship interviews, said sophomore Keagan Hoboy, a business analytics major and volunteer worker at the fair.

        “For this, it is a very quick, elevator-pitch style interview,” he said, and if employers want to go forward from that, “they will sometimes schedule same-day or next-day full interviews.”

        Grace Dempsey, a junior and St. Louis native majoring in marketing, praised Harbert for classroom preparation of students, and then its provision of opportunities such as the career fairs in outside-the-classroom experience.

        “Last year I actually landed an internship for the summer because I came to the career fair,” she said of her experience with Eli Lilly, a major pharmaceutical company.

        “You also get to see all the different types of companies” when attending the career fairs, Dempsey said, referring to the various opportunities she might not previously had considered. “It’s a great experience for you to be out there and stand on your own in front of a recruiter.”

        Katelyn Lewis, a junior majoring in marketing, plans to study abroad in Rome this summer and said she likes the fair for its networking opportunities. “I want to practice communicating with professionals.”

        Sophomore Caitlin Ayers of Milton, Georgia, transferred to Auburn from Clemson in large part because of Harbert’s solid reputation as a business school, she said, adding her thanks for the fair. “They take these fairs seriously. ... I feel like you can learn about it in the classroom, but it doesn’t truly translate into your life until you have the hands-on experience.”

        Harbert career fair McLeod rep with student

        Auburn alumnus Mark Vines talks with a Harbert student at the career fair.

        Meanwhile, recruiters at the fair such as Auburn alumnus Mark Vines, representing McLeod Software based in Birmingham, praised the consistency of Harbert producing ready-to-work graduates.

        “McLeod Software has always had a lot of success hiring from Auburn,” Vines said. “We’ve always had really good hires, whether it’s an internship, co-op or a full-time employee.”

        He pointed to other representatives at the McLeod booth. “Everybody you see here on our team is an Auburn grad,” he said. “Auburn does a great job of prepping these students and getting them ready for the real world.”

        Marketing, supply chain management and information technology skills were among the needs topping the search list for Vines, who pointed out that McLeod, which has about 675 employees, is a supply chain program sponsor at Harbert.

        Vines joked that “this is probably my 50th career fair here at Auburn.”

        Brooks Nordgren, talent acquisition manager for Insight Global, which specializes in providing organizations with staffing talent, said she is looking for students who want the opportunity to be self-made.

        “When we look for students, it doesn’t matter what their major is. We want someone who has that self-made mindset,” she said, whether it be applied to sales, community service, philanthropic work or professional development, as examples. “We’re doing a lot more than just staffing in this organization, so we want somebody who is thinking that way as well, rather than someone just coming in and doing their job and going home.”

        Insight Global is based in Atlanta, and its CEO Bert Bean is himself an Auburn alumnus who majored in marketing. He began his career as an entry-level recruiter and today oversees an organization of 4,000 employees across 63 offices in the U.S. and Canada.