College is a stressful time for any student. As you try to balance school, work, and your personal life you have to think about and plan for your future. The big goal for almost everyone at college is to get a job in the future doing something you love. As a second-year student, that sounds great, but can be a little overwhelming to think about. With a part-time job and classes, where would I find time to search for a career? That is the biggest reason I strayed away from the All Majors Career Fair. The idea of searching for a career seemed overwhelming and not necessary for a sophomore in college.
Once I got to the career fair, however, I was surprised by how many companies had booths set up. There were many different companies represented like police, nursing, marketing, shipping, and many more. I was able to speak with many companies and talk to them about what they were looking for. Some companies, like the Middletown and Hamilton Police and ADS, told me they were looking to fill more internships than career positions at that time. Many companies were looking for people who wanted to enter the workforce and gain some experience rather than fill a specific position. Several companies, like the Army Reserves, were advertising that they will provide tuition reimbursement for future employees as well as other benefits like medical coverage. Many of the representatives even gave me advice for other students.
1) Be Prepared
Many companies recommended that you come prepared for the career fair. That includes bringing a few resumes and dressing professionally. That doesn’t mean you have to arrive in a suit, but you should wear something that looks nice, for example, a dress shirt and tie for men and a nice top for women. Being prepared also means knowing what companies are coming, and having enough resumes for the ones that you are interested in.
2) Be Confident
Talking to a potential employer can be very intimidating if you let it. Being confident in who you are is a great and very simple way to fight of any nervousness. If you listened to the last step and remembered to wear something nice, you should have no problem feeling confident. Approach a table with a smile and be proud of how you look and who you are. Companies appreciate someone who is confident in themselves and what they can do. If you are still nervous to approach a table, try talking to someone else to build up some confidence.
3) Be Yourself
One company, Pratt Industries, gave me some great advice no one else did. They said that students should just be themselves. As simple as this sounds it is very easy to be nervous in front of someone and try to be someone else. Many people will try to focus on being impressive and will not show their personality. Being yourself lets a company know if you will be a good fit with who they are. It also helps you stand out among the other candidates. If everyone is putting up this same front, you will be different from them, and employers will most likely remember you. Just be yourself and be confident in who you are.
Some other advice that many companies recommended was to talk to as many people as you can. You may not have an interest in a company, but just talking to them could be very helpful for you and you may learn something you didn’t know before. Being friendly and curious could help your overall confidence and help you learn about opportunities that are available.
I had originally attended the career fair only for the class credits and for work, but I quickly realized how beneficial this would be for my future. From the job opportunities to the interview experience, the career fair helped me to feel more confident in my future. I know that despite the struggles that all college students face, planning for the future is something that can be very intimidating. The career fair is a great way to gain some confidence and feel more prepared for the future.