Career fair expects high turnout Tues.
Published: Monday, September 23, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 23, 2013 00:09
UConn students will vie for the interest of over 120 employers in the Student Union Ballroom this Tuesday and Wednesday as the UConn Center for Career Development (CCD) hosts the All Majors Career Fair. Held from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. both days, UConn students and alumni of all ages and majors are encouraged to attend.
This year’s fair will feature a diverse set of major corporations including General Electric, PepsiCo, Travelers, Cigna and Walt Disney. Just as a myriad of employers will be in attendance, the student and alumni turnout is also projected to be high.
Michael Petro, CCD assistant director of employer relations, said he hopes to double 2012’s turnout of 1,400 students and alumni. This goal seems promising so far, as a successful fair in 2012 caused the SU Ballroom to sell out three weeks earlier than last year.
Petro advises students to dress professionally, introduce themselves appropriately and prepare in advance should they choose to attend the career fair. “You may only have one to five minutes with each company, but this time will create a first impression, which may lead to an interview. An interview is a vital first step in receiving a job,” he said.
Before arriving Petro recommends students research the employers in attendance in order to generate good questions and prioritize which companies they would like to seek out first. Darlene Reynolds, CCD’s on-campus interview program coordinator, said that students should also come prepared with a resume.
However, familiarizing yourself about your own skills is just as important. “You have to know yourself and your skills,” Petro said. “Talk about your specific skills and the meaningful experiences that you’ve gained from the classroom and outside experiences such as clubs.”
To make the most out of students’ experience, CCD offers online tools for career fair preparation on its website, www.career.uconn.edu. Be sure to read “Preparing for the Career Fair,” which outlines essential advice for students to present their best selves. The site also contains a crash course in career fair prep called “Navigating the Career Fair,” which includes PowerPoint presentations not only on career fairs but also the insurance industry and steps to landing an internship.
Freshmen and sophomores can earn a two-year jump on their peers by walking away with networking and resume-building advice. “Underclassmen should ask, ‘what can I do to make myself a strong candidate because I’m going to be here as a junior.’ Finding a career and career experience is not a one-time transaction, it’s a process,” Petro said in discussing the value of starting career preparation early.
For those seeking more opportunities to meet with employers, Reynolds said that the month of October will bring over 50 companies to UConn to conduct interviews with students. Networking can also be done online through Husky Career Link at hcl.uconn.edu. Students sign in using their NetID and password to look at companies interested in hiring UConn students.