Career Fairs Provide Valuable Internships for Students

by Nathan Pilling, Public Relations Writer

A career fair in the Stevens Student Center at Cedarville University represents a sea of opportunities for students. But what brings organizations to campus? And how can students take advantage of the opportunities each recruiter and booth can provide?

Jeff Reep, director of Career Services, and those in his office work to attract new companies to Cedarville’s campus for these fairs. “It’s a 365-day-a-year process,” he said. “We’re always looking for new companies.”

Whether by meeting companies at other fairs or through direct company visits, Reep and his career services team have brought organizations from across the country to Cedarville, Ohio. The six fairs held on campus each year attract organizations ranging from seminaries to summer camps to Fortune 500 companies. Because of these fairs, students like Matthew Petroff and Zachary Franklin are being offered internships where they can get real-world experience in their field of study.

Petroff, a senior electrical engineering major from Liverpool, New York, worked as an intern this past summer at Cummins, Inc., on an application engineering team. His responsibilities included supporting testing and data collection on new engines and after treatment systems. Petroff also joined with a team to meet with customers to discuss test results.

Franklin, a senior from Emmalena, Kentucky, studying finance, marketing and management, also received an internship from Cummins. Franklin worked as a marketing communications intern and was tasked with numerous projects throughout his time with the company. One of his main projects involved coordinating logistics for one of the company’s major sales events: the Brickyard 400, a top-level NASCAR event held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Franklin also planned volunteering activities for a group of 25 employees, among other projects.

Petroff and Franklin’s stories are not unique among Cedarville students. Many other students that crowd the career fairs have found themselves with similar offers. Career services also provides  seminars and other services that help Cedarville students  set themselves apart from those the professionals attending the fair might interview elsewhere.

Reep encourages students to attend the career fairs even if they’re not interested in the companies or the locations they represent. “Every time you go, you get better at it,” he said.

Franklin attended his first career fair as a freshman, just to practice the art of approaching a potential employer while honing his interviewing skills. “It’s great to get out there, get your face out there and practice,” Franklin said. “It comes down to being comfortable in your own shoes and just presenting your best side.”

Petroff advises all students to start going to career fairs as soon as possible to gain experience. “Be prepared when you go to fairs,” he said. “Know the companies and what you have to offer them.”

Internship and job opportunities are just a career fair away, and Reep’s office works to facilitate those chances for students. It’s clear from examples like Petroff and Franklin that Cedarville students are benefiting from the career services team’s year-round work.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at