Recruiter Lauren Matthews, a 2006 North­eastern grad­uate, speaks with senior eco­nomics major Dashawn Bristol at Wednesday’s Spring Career Fair. Photo by Mike Maz­zanti.

Senior eco­nomics major Dashawn Bristol did his home­work in prepa­ra­tion for Northeastern’s Spring Career Fair, which attracted thou­sands of stu­dents and more than 150 employers to Cabot Cage on Wednesday.

“I did research in advance and iden­ti­fied 10 com­pa­nies I knew I wanted to talk to,” Bristol said in between inter­views at the career fair, which was spon­sored by the university’s career ser­vices office. “I’ve had some great con­ver­sa­tions that seem promising and now I’m talking to com­pa­nies I may not have con­sid­ered before learning about all the options here.”

Like many North­eastern stu­dents on the cusp of grad­u­a­tion, Bristol noted the impor­tance of finding a per­fect pro­fes­sional match. As he put it, “You want to find some­thing you like, not just some­thing you have to jump for because you have no other choice.”

Employers at the fair praised Northeastern’s co-​​op pro­gram for preparing stu­dents for the working world and giving them an advan­tage over their peers when it comes to snag­ging top job choices.

“We’re a very driven com­pany and we’re growing quickly, so we’re looking for man­agers who can run their own team in a few months and their own office in just a few years,” said MJ Par­adiso, BA’10, a sales man­ager for the Boston branch of Melt­water, an inter­na­tional com­pany that develops soft­ware for busi­nesses. “Co-​​op gives a great boost to any poten­tial employee, so we’re always looking for people with the right expe­ri­ence.”

Lauren Matthews, AS’06, an on-​​site human resources rep­re­sen­ta­tive at Sta­ples, said North­eastern stu­dents often fit the bill for posi­tions she is trying to fill.

“I work a lot with recent col­lege grad­u­ates and I look for someone who is eager, can thrive in stressful sit­u­a­tions and is def­i­nitely eager to learn,” Matthews said. “North­eastern is a great place to find someone like that.”

Some stu­dents at the career fair, such as freshman engi­neering man­age­ment major Neha Panchdhar, sought out co-​​op or intern­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties. 

“We have sum­mers, we have free time, we have co-​​op,” she said. “Why not start looking now for a great experience?”