Two years ago, Kyle Oberkoetter attended North­eastern University’s fall career fair as geology major in search of employ­ment after grad­u­a­tion. He found his way to the booth for Schlum­berger, a Texas-​​based oil­field ser­vices provider, and ulti­mately landed a job with the company.

Now a junior field engi­neer working in Roswell, N.M., Oberkoetter returned to campus on Thursday for this year’s career fair as a Schlum­berger rep­re­sen­ta­tive, speaking to stu­dents about inter­na­tional oppor­tu­ni­ties for engi­neers at his company.

I’m excited about today. For us, it’s a great oppor­tu­nity,” said Oberkoetter, ’09.

The event, one of two annual career fairs spon­sored by the Northeastern’s career ser­vices office, drew more than 2,000 stu­dents and alumni, as well as 200 employers. Com­pa­nies from about 20 states were represented—including Michigan, Cal­i­fornia, and Texas—as well as one inter­na­tional firm based in Ontario, Canada.

Sopho­more Billy Schollmeyer saw the career fair as a chance to get his foot in the door. The crim­inal jus­tice major is inter­ested in inves­tiga­tive work and fed­eral law, and he was there to speak with the rep­re­sen­ta­tives from sev­eral gov­ern­ment agencies.

I’m here to find out about co-​​ops for the spring, and to see what I can do to stand out,” Schollmeyer said.

Urvi Vith­lani, a grad­uate stu­dent in infor­ma­tion sys­tems, showed up feeling con­fi­dent that what she called the “per­fect blend” of busi­ness and tech­nical course­work in her pro­gram would put her in a strong posi­tion with poten­tial employers. “It would be lovely to hear from employers after drop­ping off résumés here,” she said.

The career fair, one of the largest in New Eng­land, pro­vided stu­dents with an invalu­able oppor­tu­nity to meet and net­work with employer rep­re­sen­ta­tives in a tight job market.

We always tell stu­dents here, whether you are a freshman or a grad­uate stu­dent, that a career fair is a great net­working oppor­tu­nity,” said Maria Stein, director of career ser­vices at North­eastern. “It’s about learning and under­standing the employers who recruit our stu­dents, finding out who they are and what they have to offer.”

Stein said North­eastern stu­dents offer employers a breadth and depth of expe­ri­ence that stu­dents at other col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties cannot match, thanks to the University’s world-​​renowned co-​​op pro­gram and other expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­ni­ties across the United States and in 69 coun­tries around the world.

Many employers agreed.

We like North­eastern a lot because of the co-​​op pro­gram,” said Thomas Petit, staffing coor­di­nator for NSTAR. “They have real-​​world expe­ri­ence, and they tend to be more mature.”