How to Succeed at the Career Fair by Ashley Beckman ’21

Posted on February 18th, 2020 by

What happens/What to Expect: 

The Minnesota Private College and Career Fair is an amazing opportunity for ALL Gustavus students. There are over 300 employers attending this fair, as well as over 2,000 other students from private colleges around the state.  Your day will start by riding the bus from 3 flags to the Minneapolis convention center. This will seem like the longest bus ride of your life. Just relax, listen to some music and remember that you are a Gustie and you got this! I recommend you keep this mindset throughout the whole day, especially if this is your first career fair. Think of the fair as a fantastic opportunity to connect with a wide variety of employers or a very selective list you’ve personally selected.  Each organization wants to get to know you, and your professional interests.

 

Why attend:

In a single day students can explore thousands of opportunities and hundreds of companies, no matter the academic major or year.

First Years – Utilize the fair to see what employers hire Gusties, some summer opportunities are available

Sophomores & Juniors – Internships are available across all areas, employers are eager to engage with proactive students like you.

Seniors – Apply, and interview on the same day, and have a job offer well before graduation.

 

How to prep:

This is your time to shine and show off how great you are. Another way to get past this is to be prepared as possible. This isn’t an event you want to just “wing it.” Some tips I have to prepare to be at your best on February 27th are:

 

  1. Check out MNPC Website – Get yourself out there 

    • Upload your resume on the website! This could lead to an interview or connection before you get to the fair!

  1. Research – Know what’s out there

    • Look at companies websites and postings you want to pursue beforehand to have insight into company culture, values and what they do. It will show initiative to employers and provide potential conversation starters
  1. Prep Sessions – Career Development offers helpful prep and info sessions in the weeks before the fair to prepare you as much as possible. These sessions are only 30 minutes, so it’s easy to fit into your busy schedule! Check out https://gustavus.joinhandshake.com/events to see what these prep sessions entail.

 

What to do after:

What your actions are after the fair are just as important as the networking you did during the fair. Since there are thousands of students just like you looking for jobs/internships as well, you want to be able stand-out. Send a Thank you email or Linkedin message no later than 3 days after the fair to ensure the connection with that employer grows. If you really want to stand-out, send the employer a hand written thank you in the mail! I would also recommend connecting with individuals you talked with at the fair on LinkedIn. This allows you to be aware of what is happening with that company and to continue to build your network. 

 

Still not sure the fair is for you?

Stop into Career and chat with a Specialist or Peer Career Advisor, we are happy to answer your questions and support your fair success strategy.

 

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