The Fall Career Fair’s on-campus return

September marked the return of the MIT In-Person Fall Career Fair. For the last three years, the Fair adapted to the virtual space, utilizing platforms like Brazen and Handshake to connect MIT talent with industry stakeholders. Organized by a dedicated committee of 8 Fall Career Fair student directors*, this year’s Fair returned to the Johnson Athletic Center and Rockwell Cage 

 on Friday, September 23. Offering 260 employer booths, 4,196 candidates traversed across three levels of event space. In comparison, the 3 virtual Fall Career Fairs organized in 2021 had a total of 1,999 candidates in attendance. This year’s Fair more than doubled that attendance, indicating a strong desire for the return of in-person recruiting activities. 

Of note were the 878 sophomores, the largest cohort of students to attend the 2022 in-person fair. To supplement the in-person fair, a virtual fair was held on September 28th and had 436 candidates and 131 employers. Between the two fairs, there were 337 unique employers, which was a 26.6% increase from the total unique employers who attended one or more of the four virtual Fall Career Fairs offered in 2021. 

Special initiatives at the Fall Career Fair

This year, CAPD and the Fall Career Fair Committee launched a new initiative to help candidates find employers that matched their values and interests. In addition to organizing employers into 10 industry clusters, they were also asked, upon registration, a set of questions to help determine their fit. As a result, special labels were attributed to employers who were first-year friendly; implemented sustainability initiatives; committed to diversity, equity and inclusion; and incorporated equal pay efforts into their recruiting practices.

The Fair had something to offer everyone: from internship and full-time employment opportunities to several campus offices and programs promoting career exploration and development connections. Participating MIT offices and programs included: the PKG Center for Public Service, UPOP, Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership (GEL) Program, MIT Leaders for Global Operations & Sloan School of Management, Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI), MISTI, Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, and the MIT Pay Equity Working Group.

Early access for first-year undergraduate students, an initiative that began in 2018, drew in 73% (831 out of 1136) of first-year students, giving them a jump start on talking with 44 “first-year friendly” employers from various industries. Early access allowed first-year students to learn about different industries, explore potential career paths, get feedback on how to develop as a candidate, and identify internships that were open to first-year undergraduate candidates. 

Planning for the future

The Fall Career Fair Directors and CAPD are already thinking about next year’s fair, which will be held on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. Please encourage students to fill out the survey sent to them to help us with improving the experience. If you have feedback to offer, please reach out to Lauren Siegel, Assistant Director for Career Fairs,

*The 2022 MIT Fall Career Fair Committee
Tyler Allen (Chair), Benjamin Dwyer (Vice Chair), Cathy Chung, Matija Delic, Shawn Hu, Xiaojia Jin, Cole Kingston, Stephany Pang, Liv Parsons

By Lauren Siegel
Lauren Siegel Assistant Director, Career Fairs