Students seeking internships will get the opportunity to talk to employers at Eastern Michigan University’s internship fair, hosted by the University Advising and Career Development Center. The fair is scheduled to take place in the Student Center Ballroom Jan. 30 from 12-3 p.m.
The purpose of the fair is to give students the chance be interviewed by different companies for potential internships. In past years, UACDC has held government, nonprofit, business and teacher job fairs.
“Most of our events attract about three to four hundred students or more, so because it is a new event I am expecting to get between three to five hundred students,” UACDC Senior Career Coach Lorraine McKnight said.
So far, 21 companies have agreed to participate in the fair. According to McKnight the internship fair differs from a job fair.
“The main difference is, at a job fair employers are seeking people for jobs, usually right now, and you begin work. Internship fairs, they’re looking at your possibilities. They’re looking at your potential, hiring you with the possibility of bringing you back in later.”
According to McKnight, students should come to the fair prepared to tell employers who they are, what skills they have, their major and what jobs they would like to be considered for. Participating companies, and the positions they are offering can be viewed online at EagleCareers.com.
“The type of conversation that takes place at a fair is about two to three minutes, where you’re introducing yourself and quickly telling what you have to offer that employer based on what you know … the employers and what they’re hiring for is listed on the Internet on Eagle careers,” McKnight said.
The fair will focus on companies from southeast Michigan, while internships outside of Michigan are managed by the study abroad program.
The fair is meant primarily for juniors and seniors, but sophomores may consider attending based on what previous work experience they have.
Although some companies are hiring students of a specific major, many are considering students of all majors.
“Most employers have an idea of what they need from a student, so they hire within majors that they are familiar with,” McKnight said.
According to McKnight, internship offers in 2013 are expected to be greater than in the past.
“One of the great things about 2013 is that internships are coming back into a lot of employer sites. They had cut back because of the economy, so I’m seeing employers that had scaled down, are now promoting them, from the federal government, the state of Michigan, to non-profit even.”
McKnight encourages students planning to attend to be dressed properly and prepared with copies of their résumé.
“If 500 people showed up and an employer talks to 200 people, you want to be one of the ones they recommend to their boss, or that they recommend to move forward through the application process … You want them to remember you for the quality you brought versus the words on your T-shirts or the fact that you have your jeans on. That’s not being remembered for a good thing,” she said.
UACDC works to bring in companies where they feel students will get quality experience.
“We look for employers that have had quality internships in the past, where students just weren’t making coffee and Xerox copies, running to get dry cleaning from the store,” McKnight said.
While not required, students are strongly encouraged to register at emuinternshipfair.eventsbright.com if planning to attend the event. Registration is free for all EMU students.