You know those emails you get at least three times a week about a new event to go to or a speaker that is coming? You might just mark them as read or send them to trash, but I promise you should actually read them.
I attended the BU Career Fair this past month, and believe me I had my hesitations. Though, I am extremely happy that I decided to attend. I printed out copies of my resume, obsessed over what I should wear, put on a lot of deodorant (hey, I am a nervous sweater!) and practiced what would come out of my mouth when I shook the recruiters’ hands.
From the looks of it, the career fair can be very intimidating. This semester it took place in the Metcalf ballroom on the 2nd floor of the GSU and there was a sea of eager students. When you walk in, team members from the CCD will hand you a sheet with all of the companies at the fair. I marked off the five companies I aimed to meet with, went in with a smile, and reminded myself to breathe. As you can tell, I understand that these types of fairs can be intimidating and you can feel lost at them. I also know that it can be difficult to gage the value of attending a career fair as an underclassmen, but it is never too early to go to an event you receive an email about. Whether it is a networking event, career fair or internship information session because it is always great to practice- so by the time you graduate maybe you will not need to re-apply your deodorant as many times!
I could have never expected how well the career fair went. I ended up making strong connections with agencies in Boston and scheduled interviews for spring internship opportunities. I find that all of the resources available to us including COM Career Services, the COM writing center, Undergrad Affairs and Handshake are incredible. Though, nothing beats the opportunity of getting to present yourself in front of future employers and show what you know.
These are my tips to help encourage you to take advantage of all the events and information sessions that BU and COM specifically have to offer:
- Always research the company/ internship program prior to meeting with the recruiters so you can ask specific questions and show your smarts
- Print out copies of your resume and maybe buy a nice portfolio to hold them in- I got mine at staples for $15, but it looks just as fancy
- Write yourself a little note to stay calm
- Try to find some common ground to make a memorable connection (I knew we learned this at orientation for a reason)
- Remember: these companies are attending career fairs and giving presentations at information sessions because they genuinely want college students to come and intern and give insight!
Never be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and use the resources that are available to you. The opportunities are waiting for you so go out and get them!