Written by Career Fair Pro, Benjamin Haller
Career Networking Fair
There’s a misconception about career fairs. Students attend career fairs with the intentions of finding an entry-level job or an internship, which makes sense, right? The issue with this mindset is that students think that because they are underclassmen and less qualified, there is no point in going because companies won’t hire them. While it’s true that many companies typically recruit upperclassmen for internships or entry-level positions, career fairs are just as valuable, if not more, for underclassmen.
As a senior who has been to each Fisher Career Fair since my first year at Ohio State, I can say that there is huge potential for underclassmen to set themselves up for the future, even with minimal qualifications. Think of it as the Fisher Networking Fair. Visit companies you are interested in your first year and stay persistent with those companies through the following academic years. Two years ago, I decided to visit the booth of one of my dream companies, General Motors. I was a sophomore and I had no logistics or supply chain experience, but I talked with Devan, a recruiter, about my career aspirations as well my interest in the automotive industry. From that point, I made Devan a part of my professional network and I became a part of his. The following year, I visited the General Motors booth once again and was lucky enough to score an interview. The following day, I went to the interview and Devan was one of the two representatives conduct the interview. Because we networked together the previous year, he remembered me, which gave me a huge advantage when it really mattered. I was confident in the interview because I was talking to someone I knew and I was able to get an internship offer, which has now turned into a full time job upon graduation in May.
A vast majority of companies bring the same recruiters to campus each year, so get to know them. You may not be qualified for a position at this time, but take the opportunity to advertise yourself and, once you do have desired qualifications, it will pay dividends. Employers are looking for standouts. Be a standout underclassman and take advantage of the Fisher Networking Fair this week.