Athens, OH 16 February 2014 – First off, I want to give a shout out to my fellow ETM Engineering Ambassador Steven Crane. Congratulations on the job buddy! Steve is one of many ETM students receiving job offers prior to graduation. However, I have yet to find the right job for me so I’ll continue my search and the upcoming career fair will be an awesome tool. Although a few people (peers and professors) tried to get me to the engineering career fairs for the past few years, I didn’t understand the importance. I went to my first career fair last year and now have a new appreciation for this awesome networking tool.
It’s one thing to apply to jobs online but it’s an entirely different experience actually talking to company representatives in person. That’s what the career fair offers. Over twenty booths will be set up in the lobby of Stocker Center and the Academic Research Center, each of which will have two to three company representatives. Unlike the larger career fair that is held in Baker Center, the engineering career fair is catered specifically to engineering and technology majors. A few weeks before the fair begins, each department sends out a memo stating which companies will be attending, and what majors they are looking for. This makes preparation easy because I know what companies to research, and visit at the fair.
Now I’ll be honest, the fair was slightly awkward for me the first time I went. I wasn’t comfortable physically and psychologically. I never dress up so getting dressed up and walking through a crowd drove me a little crazy. Then there’s the psychological aspect. I’m not one to brag, so walking up to a complete stranger and selling my skills and abilities was strange. However, once I got over the initial nervousness it became second nature.
The next career fair is coming up this week so I’ll be a little more prepared this time around. In order to be more comfortable at the career fair I’ve prepared an “elevator speech” and got a little more comfortable in the clothes I’ll be wearing. It really comes down to treating the fair like an interview. These people are coming to Athens to talk to us because they know what we are capable of as engineers. I need to become comfortable with that concept, and represent my major proudly.