Sophomore Speaks: Career fair creates future job interests

Full-time and part-time jobs, internships and co-ops were many of the opportunities offered at the 2011 Fall Career Fair. More than 75 companies attended the career fair looking for undergraduates, graduates and alumni of all different majors and backgrounds. As a sophomore, I was not sure if it was too soon to attend the event that took place Nov. 3 in the Bart Luedeke Center (BLC) Cavalla Room. But I ended up going because many people informed me that it is never too early to get your name out there.

I was definitely nervous about what to expect. Students who had already gone to career fairs told me many different things about it. One thing I was repeatedly told was to be ready to talk with employers for a long time.

To prepare for the event, I practiced what I would say to potential employers. Rider also offered a “résumé blitz” to get your résumé updated by Career Services. I took this opportunity to revise mine for the career fair and for any other time I might need it in the future.

I went to the fair right when it started at 11 a.m. and even then it was extremely crowded. However, those in charge of the event had the line moving quickly as everyone signed in.

Many people accumulated in the Cavalla Room, which made the event a little intimidating. Looking into companies I wanted to talk to ahead of time made it easier for me to navigate the career fair. Career Services also provided a map that was very helpful when locating the companies I was interested in.

After talking with a representative from one company, I started feeling more comfortable about meeting other employers. Most of the companies I spoke to asked me for my résumé as soon as I introduced myself. To my surprise, my interaction with each employer I encountered was quite brief, contrary to what I was told.

Many companies offered internships or externships, which I definitely see myself doing in the future. They also broke down the criteria for the internships they offered and explained how long they would be for.

As a result of the career fair, I handed my résumé out to four companies I was interested in. Seeing what is out there, according to Director of Career Services Judy Tyler, is the “best way to secure an internship for the summer.”

I was informed by Career Services to follow up with the companies I liked so they remember my name and know I am interested. I have taken that advice and already emailed two companies that I hope to work with in the future.

Taking advantage of resources available such as the career fair or Career Services is a beneficial way to secure important work experience and maybe even a job.

– Shannon Larcara

Sophomore journalism major

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