The fall Job and Internship Fair will be from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.
Bobbi Kingery, director of Career Services, said there will be over 70 organizations in attendance for the event.
“What’s cool about it is that a lot of (employers) are looking for full-time employment for students that are graduating in December or May,” she said. “We also have a ton of them looking to fill summer internships for next summer, and that’s a surprise to a lot of our students because they’re not thinking about summer internships yet, but the companies are.”
She said that is a great reason to attend the fair, even for students who are not graduating yet or think they should wait until the spring fair. But, she said a lot of the internships will be filled in the fall semester, which is why she said it is important to attend.
John Marr, employer relations specialist and former State Farm IT recruiter, also said it was best to go early instead of waiting.
“The fall internship fair was always the biggest one,” he said. “That’s where we were looking for our interns for the following summer.”
Kingery said there are a variety of companies for students to talk to, which she said was a great opportunity for students, even if it may be nerve-racking.
“It’s intimidating because you walk into a room full of over 70 tables with a bunch of employers,” she said. “But they are there to talk to the students. When you are really speaking to them, you get more comfortable with the process.”
She said all students, not just those graduating, are encouraged to attend but said juniors definitely need to be there to look for an internship.
“The more internships or applied experience (students) get, the more competitive they will be for a job when they graduate,” she said.
Kingery said the fair is beneficial for students and for Career Services as well.
“The more students I have go through the event, the more employers I can get to come back or new employers I can get,” she said. “That benefits the students, so it’s kind of a circular thing. It’s important to us because as an office, we want to provide the highest number of employers to our students.”
Kingery said networking, along with finding an internship or future job, is something that works well for students because they can meet people who are already in that field and who can help them prepare for it.
“You guys are at college to gain the knowledge and experience to go into your chosen career field,” she said. “That’s why I think it’s important for our underclassmen to go as well, and then they’re not as scared. When you get up there and you talk to them, you realize they are just human beings too.”
Kingery said while it can be hard to talk about your strengths without bragging, it is a necessary part of networking.
“If you’re telling me your skills and what you have to offer, and you can back it up with an example, then you’re not bragging,” she said. “That is the biggest thing that I think is hard about the job search process for students. We do have to talk easily about what we’re good at and what we can bring to the table.”
Kingery said there is no specific dress code for the job fair, and that students are not usually turned away, but business casual is the preferred style.
“You take yourself more seriously when you’re dressed more professionally,” she said.
When it comes to what employers look for in future employees, Marr said the traits that he, as an employer, looked for in students included being enthusiastic about the job, having a good resume and being able to talk about the position they were looking for.
Kingery said the job fair is a great resource that works for students and getting their name out to employers.
“We had an accounting major who went through (the job fair) as a freshman,” she said. “He forced himself to talk to all the accounting firms, and they were impressed that he came through as a freshman. He came back sophomore year, and one of the firms offered him an internship, even though he’d only had maybe two accounting classes, because they were so impressed by meeting him the year before.”
Kingery said that student did not have to approach the accounting firms by his senior year because they all knew him by name.
“That’s why it is important for students to come out and talk to people,” she said. “We have those success stories all the time.”
Hannah Shillo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]