Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1998-1999 index

Distributed March 4, 1999
Contact: Tracie Sweeney

Matching `hidden' employers with high-caliber graduates

Ivy League, Stanford, MIT collaborate on virtual career fair April 12-18

The Ivy-Plus Virtual Career Fair is an online week-long event through which employers in diverse fields from around the country can recruit some of the best liberal arts graduates in the world.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- If you can meet your future mate online, why can't you meet a future employer? For one week in April, students graduating this spring from Ivy League schools, Stanford and MIT, and their recent alumni, can.

The Ivy-Plus Virtual Career Fair, being coordinated by Brown University, begins at 12:01 a.m. April 12 and runs through 11:59 p.m. April 18. At the Web site [], graduating seniors, master's degree and Ph.D. students, and recent alumni of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Yale, MIT and Stanford can meet and interact with a host of employers in fields as diverse as advertising, public relations, publishing, sports management, media, entertainment, government, education, nonprofits and environment.

Typically, only the largest employers with entry-level openings numerous enough to warrant campus visits can afford to field recruiting teams, says Sheila J. Curran, director of Brown's Office of Career Services. Even among such companies, many have no idea what openings might exist until spring, by which time most campus recruiting has ended. For them and for smaller concerns, the opportunity to recruit among graduating students and recent alumni of some of the nation's most prestigious schools has been limited.

"Employers and institutions in higher education are trying to find ways to maximize the Internet for job searches, and a few have started to experiment with virtual career fairs, but this one is unique," Curran said. "For the first time, a consortium of top universities is taking a student-oriented approach by targeting employers in which we know our graduates are interested, but who are underrepresented in campus recruiting. These are the `hidden employers' who seek talent, but don't know where to find it. We're putting them in touch with the `hidden student and alumni' population. Through the Virtual Career Fair, the employers can be physically distant, but have the same visibility as they would with a campus visit."

Through the Web site, which uses technology developed by Crimson Solutions, employers can recruit candidates easily and efficiently without setting foot outside their offices. The technology allows recruiters to communicate with groups of young people any time, day or night, seven days a week. They can visit chat rooms, schedule interviews on line, perform full-text searches on résumés that have been posted to the site, and view résumés in their original formatting. The Virtual Career Fair also acts as a database, allowing employers to find the right graduates for their needs, and participants to easily identify employers in preferred career fields and locations.