Never too early to attend job fairs

Abigail Carlin

Recently, I have been drowning. As an English education major and the vice president of two clubs, I am absolutely bombarded with emails.

Since I get so many emails, things tend to slip through the cracks.

All of a sudden, I receive a “final warning” email regarding the Fall Education Job Fair, and I realize I do not have a resume, clothes to wear, or any idea of how to interview for a real job. Not to mention I am a junior and while I thought I had time, apparently not.

The email I received stressed that those looking to graduate in the fall of 2018 or the spring of 2019 should attend this job fair. At that moment, I began to research how to write a teaching resume, what to wear to interviews, how to talk, what to say and which schools to talk to.

It was overwhelming to say the least. I could not even predict what I will be eating for dinner, let alone have any clue where I might want to live during the 2019-2020 school year.

So much was happening and I was feeling the pressure. I did not know what to do and I did not feel ready. The list goes on. I went to the job fair with a lump in my throat and a belly filled with butterflies. I did not know whether to cry or throw up.

Then, I saw the first school on my list. Without thinking, I walked towards the two recruitment representatives and started talking.

Suddenly, I felt oddly comfortable. I was smiling while they were laughing. We then started discussing the items on my resume and they seemed impressed. They asked me when I was graduating, and I informed them that it was still going to be another three semesters. They genuinely seemed disappointed. Their disappointment fueled my fire and I kept talking to more representatives.

Pretty soon, I ran out of copies of my resumes and I had a stack of folders filled with brochures and business cards. My heart was full and my ego was obnoxiously inflated.

Now, having been to a job fair, I understand the hype. Maybe I am not quite ready to be on the job market, but putting my name out there is still immensely useful. Additionally, I had a chance to free myself from the anxieties of the “first interview”, so next time, I will be even more confident and prepared. I cannot urge the readers enough to attend job fairs. Get out there and see what your potential future employers are looking for. If I had done this as a freshman or a sophomore, I would have gone about my four-year plan a little differently.

It never hurts to talk to someone about the future. These semi-mock interviews reignited my passion for teaching. For so long I had been busy keeping my head above the tumultuous waters of emails, projects, readings, and work, that I forgot why I went to college in the first place.

I came here to become the greatest high school English teacher Illinois has ever seen, and with this job fair under my belt, I am one step closer to making that dream a reality.

Abigail Carlin is a junior English education major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].