Career Center to host first fall career fair Wednesday


Ryan Fang

Bradley Woodruff, a Career Center staff, welcomes and checks in students at the Career Center on Tuesday, Jan 27 2016.

By Michael Semaca , Staff Writer

The University’s Career Center will be hosting its first ever Fall Illini Career and Internship Fair on Wednesday at the ARC from noon to 4 p.m.

The event serves as a complement to the Career Center’s existing spring fair and was created to help students secure jobs and internships earlier in the year, according to Sparkle Sanders, the assistant director of marketing, communications & event planning at the Career Center.

Sanders said the Center noticed that many students were in need of such opportunities, and realized that putting on two internship fairs would help address the issue.

“We try to be the career fair for everybody,” Sanders said. “Whether you are an engineering student, an LAS student or business student, we serve as the hub … this is the career fair for everybody.”

Another reason for this fair’s creation was to have a fair for students of all majors. Many departments also have their own career fairs. For example, there’s the Engineering Career Fair or the Business Career Fair, but the Fall Illini Career and Internship Fair is targeted at all students.

A common misconception students hold about departmental career fairs is that it’s limited to students of a certain major, so that the Engineering Career Fair is only for engineering students.

“Anybody can come to (the Engineering fair) too,” Sanders said. “But we try to help that, by having this fair.”

Sanders said that while this fall fair is smaller than their spring one, it will still be attracting over 80 employers, such as Union Pacific Railroad and Northwestern Mutual. In addition, many school districts, including the Chicago Public Schools and Champaign Unit 4 Schools, will be in attendance. Full details are on the Career Center’s website.

Sanders also said it is important for students to prepare adequately for the fair, suggesting that they visit the Career Center’s website and iLink to get a better understanding of the companies that will be present.

“That’d be my first thing, is to go on there and see who’s coming, research those companies, get a good idea of what they’re about and also what positions they’re looking for,” she said.

She also recommended that students practice what she called an “elevator pitch,” which is a one or two minute introduction where students share what they have to offer.

“That’s the hardest one, probably,” she said. “It’s very intimidating to go to a career fair, and to have the courage to go and talk to employers that you’ve never met before and tell them all about yourself.  It takes some practice, but if you’re practicing that elevator pitch, and have researched the companies and know what they’re looking for, just be your natural self.”

In addition to putting on career fairs, Sanders said the Career Center has a wide array of services to offer students, like career consultation, major exploration and mock interviews.

“We see the whole gamut of services for helping students, in addition to what would be seen as everyday things like resume reviews and cover letter reviews,” she said.

Sanders encouraged all students, including underclassmen, to find out what the Career Center has to offer as soon as possible.

“It’s never too early to come to the career center.”

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