The College of Architecture and Planning’s (CAP) annual Career Fair returned to its traditional in-person format this year following a two-year shift to a virtual presentation of the fair in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The highly anticipated CAP Career Fair took place on Friday, February 24, 2023. Throughout the academic year, the college and CAP student organizations host various events to prepare students for the Career Fair including resume reviews, portfolio nights, the CAP mentorship program, and a welcome reception and networking event the night before Career Fair.
Career Fair Preparation and Network Building
The night before the Career Fair, students, faculty, staff, and participating firms filled the first floor of the SpringHill Suites Downtown Denver Hotel on the Auraria Campus.
“The reception helped break the ice because we had the opportunity to meet the students in a casual environment beforehand. It was nice to see familiar faces at the career fair and have them feel more comfortable approaching us because we had already gotten to know each other,” said Perkins&Will Talent Manager Krystin Moody.
The Career Fair Welcome Reception offers a more relaxed, social space for students and their prospective employers to become acquainted with one another ahead of the fair.
“At the reception, I was very nervous at first. But as it went on, I gained a lot more confidence to talk to people,” said Inas Kuwairi, senior Bachelor of Science in Architecture student. “It was great for me to connect with them, and when I came in today, it gave us that initial contact that made the Career Fair not so scary.”
The CAP Career Fair Experience
Logo-adorned tables and beautiful samples of work completed by the over sixty participating organizations filled CAP’s second and third floors, and 193 students from all of CAP’s disciplines of architecture, urban and regional planning, landscape architecture, urban design, and historic preservation eagerly perused each table looking for familiar faces from the evening before and preparing to make new introductions with their resumes and portfolios in hand.
“The volume of hiring speaks to the demand for talent in this field. We had a lengthy waitlist of employers, and we filled our standard spots just 21 days from opening registration. CAP is well-situated to have such strong connections with employers near and far coming to our fair to recruit our amazing students. We are grateful for their engagement, especially those who participate in other events that help prepare our students professionally,” said Jen Skidmore, CAP’s Director of Professional Development and Internships and organizer of Career Fair. “I am extremely proud of our students. Many students earlier in their careers came to explore opportunities for their futures, while others came prepared with materials to display to be considered for internships or entry-level roles. I think they represented CAP well at all levels.”
The day began with the Career Fair, where students visited the tables of firms and organizations from around the U.S. In the days leading up to Career Fair, students signed up for pre-scheduled interviews to allow them additional time to share their resumes and portfolios in more detail with organizations that resonated with them. In total, 335 interviews were conducted during this year’s Career Fair.
“The students have been really engaging and have come with a lot of really great questions and have been prepared,” said Perkins&Will Interior Designer Catherine Lépine. “It’s good to see the next generation showing up so well.”
In addition to providing students with an opportunity to meet their possible future employers, Career Fair also offers them a chance to practice showcasing their work, build resilience and ask questions in response to feedback, and get to know more specific details about the participating organizations.
“It’s helped me gain a lot of confidence in talking to employers and putting myself out there and being proud of my work. Giving them my resume and showing them my portfolio. It helped me gain an understanding of what a firm specializes in and what their focus is,” said Kuwairi. “So, you learn what interests you and what you’d like to put yourself out there for to gain experience.”
The 2024 CAP Career Fair date for next spring will be announced in November, and registration will open on December 1, 2023. Ongoing recruitment of CAP students will continue in Handshake. Is your firm interested in participating in next year’s Career Fair? Sign up here to ensure you are on the contact list.