Don’t fear the career fair


By Hayley Nagelberg, Columnist

This weekend I saw a dog trot along on an underwater treadmill.  I also saw a horse with a full skeleton drawn on his body in white chalk.  I also got to pet many dogs, a few horses, some goats and a rat.

If you’re confused as to what led to this odd set of circumstances, don’t be — I was at the Vet Med Open House.

I know I don’t want to be a veterinarian, but I am studying Animal Sciences, and a fellow animal-loving friend asked if I would go with her.  We didn’t go to the information sessions on applying to graduate school, we just went to the demonstrations in the afternoon. It is quite possible we were the only ones over the age of five, besides the parents who brought their young children.

As we left, I wondered why there hadn’t been other college students there. This wasn’t the only event on campus that I noticed had a lack of students; with all the career fairs and open houses lately, I’ve wondered why more students don’t take advantage of them and go.

My roommate has mastered the art of career fairs — she’s come home with flash drives, a selfie stick, shirts, socks, sunglasses and more.  And thanks to her, I’ve acquired many free t-shirts, lots of coffee creamer, socks, stickers and more for myself in the last few weeks.

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Career fairs are more than the free swag; they are very serious events that provide countless opportunities for each and every student here.  Preparing for the career fairs can be stressful, getting used to I-Link may not be so simple and figuring out the proper clothes to wear can be hard, but it is all worth it.

As a freshman, every student in my class was required to go to our career fair.  Although many questioned if this was necessary with so many non-freshman-friendly positions, we all went.  We wrote out elevator pitches and were encouraged to bring our resumes to the career center.  After coming to this year’s career fair, I feel much more prepared to meet with the employers when we may actually be considered for jobs.

There are many campus resources to help prepare students for the career fairs if you are still nervous.  You can set up mock interviews or go to companies’ presentations around campus.  You can volunteer to help with the career fair setup, where you may find more time to talk with representatives while in jeans and a t-shirt as you carry their supplies if you think that will make you more comfortable.

Receiving all the email reminders for career fairs has proven beneficial for prompting the thought process of considering options for the upcoming summer.  I’ve started looking at other career and internship boards.  I’ve been reminded of the usefulness of LinkedIn both for connections and for searching for postings.

The season of career fairs is not over yet, and I would encourage everyone to find the time for a few hours during any of the remaining fairs to put on your fancy clothes, brush your hair back, grab a few copies of your resume and head down to the ARC.  If nothing else, you can get a professional photo taken to put on your LinkedIn profile when you next log in to search for jobs.

Hayley is a sophomore in ACES.

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