Berry Career Institute preps students for careers

Update: Due to weather, the Career Expo scheduled for Jan. 29 will be rescheduled. The rescheduled date is Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. in Smith Dining Hall.

Bootcamp might make you think of push-ups or climbing walls, but Block 5’s bootcamp is all about helping Cornell students flex their career muscles.Career staff working with students on career-related materials

From Jan. 22 through Jan. 25, students can participate in the Berry Career Institute’s series of Career Bootcamp sessions over the lunch hour (11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.) where students will learn about resumes, internship and job-search skills, LinkedIn, and writing an effective personal statement and cover letter.

“The timing of the Bootcamp events is ideal because it prepares students for the Career Expo that takes place the following week on Jan. 29,” said Senior Director of the Berry Career Institute Jodi Schafer. “We’ll host a variety of exhibitors including employers, graduate schools, and service providers.”

The Career Expo is going to be bigger and better this year, featuring more than 20 partners.

“The goal of the Career Expo is to demonstrate the strong talent Cornell College can provide to our partners and connect students to opportunities,” said Berry Career Institute’s Employer Relations & Career Coaching Director Jason Napoli.

It’s not your traditional college fair, either. Instead of handing out resumes and participating in on-site interviews, this event is more informal, which the Berry Career Institute team says can lead to more connections as students find they’re more relaxed. There will be plenty of opportunities for students to network.

“We are attracting partners that are relevant to all majors,” Napoli  said. “For example, our life science students will be able to connect with relevant employers such as Integrated DNA Technologies and Mercy Hospital, while fine arts students can connect with the Englert Theater. Our ECB students will enjoy meeting with Transamerica, United Fire Group, and GreatAmerica Financial Services. All students can also chat with partners such as MediRevv, AmeriCorps, Woodward Communications, ACT, and GEICO, just to name a few. In addition, those students who are interested in pursuing graduate school or would like to do service work after graduation will have the chance to speak to representatives from well-respected organizations such as the University of Iowa and the Peace Corps.”

Schafer  says this is a great time of year for the expo because many employers are often thinking about upcoming openings and grad schools are accepting applications. Because every organization is different, though, Napoli encourages students to begin researching hiring practices or graduate school deadlines as soon as they know what they want to do.

“Finding a career that makes you happy can be a daunting prospect for many people, not just college students,” Schafer said. “The most important thing to remember is that a career is built over a lifetime and all of the things you do along the way, whether it be during or after college, will give you experiences that help move you toward a fulfilling career path.”   

The Berry Career Institute team says if students are feeling anxious about the future, their best advice is to start career planning early by setting up an appointment with the Berry Career Institute to work with a career coach on their resume, search for  internships or jobs, research and apply to graduate schools, and get connected to networking opportunities.

Students of every major and year are welcome at the Career Expo, which takes place from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29 in the Thomas Commons. If students can’t attend the event, employers will be tabling in the Thomas Commons lobby throughout the rest of the year. Seniors can also check out Cocktails & Career from 5 p.m.–7 p.m. during bootcamp week on Jan. 23 in Zamora’s, which is where students can connect with a career coach informally to get their career questions answered.

Any questions can be directed to Rebecca Sullens at