Freshman, sophomore, junior and senior students at Eastern Michigan University sought out experience in a variety of job fields at the 2018 Internship Fair Thursday, Feb. 1.
“It’s for employers from all different areas, students in all different program areas, it’s to give them an opportunity to meet with employers directly here,” said Mary Jane Fallot, the coordinator for the event. “It’s a good thing for them because they can talk to the employer directly – like a mini interview – so the employer isn’t just getting a random résumé.”
A total of 59 employers had booths at the fair, each offering internships and careers for any students interested from 1-4p.m. A full list of the employers can be found on Handshake, the primary tool used by the university to connect students to future employers. Students were encouraged to use the Fairs App to keep track of who had a booth at the fair and whom they’d be interested in.
While students were encouraged to register beforehand, one could sign in from the desk before the fair, where they received a nametag. A ‘Ready Room’ was set up to give students a chance to consult professionals to practice elevator pitches, handshakes and introductions.
David Sichterman, a leadership coach with Arete 360, volunteered to help students make good impressions.
“I wanted to continue to meet people,” Sichterman said. “You can email people all day but if you don’t actually get in front of them and try to make a personal connection, your emails are probably going to end up in the trash.”
He gave some advice for those who may feel too shy to put themselves in an interviewee position.
“Believe in yourself, have confidence, but also do it in a humble way when you share that,” he said. “Don’t be shy to be proud of the things you’ve done in the past.”
Students were advised to wear business attire for the fair, as well as bringing a notebook and pen along with their resume to present to employers and take notes. A photographer and backdrop were provided to allow students to take a photo for a Linkedin profile, as well as a final wardrobe check-up before students entered the fair.
The employers at the fairs tend to have a concentration in need for computer science majors and I.T. help, but many booths were listed as accepting people from any major or grade in college. Some companies offered jobs in different cities.
Fallot said there’s plenty of advantage to coming to the fair even if you don’t see an employer specifically in your major.
“There’s a chance to connect to companies and municipalities that are hiring regardless of your major,” she said. “The people that come can take advantage of the opportunity; if people don’t come, it’s up to them to reach out to whoever they’re trying to reach.
Raeshion Young, a senior marketing major, noted some nervousness before going in to meet with potential employers. However, she was happy to have the chance to meet with employers.
“I’m hoping to get a better understanding of performing an elevator pitch,” she said. “I think it’s a great thing, a great opportunity for the students.”
Ryan Proctor, another marketing major who plans to graduate in April, had had plenty of interviews before. His fifth time at the job fair, he offered some advice to students who struggle to introduce themselves.
“Relax. Take a deep breath. If you screw up with one person, you’ll do better next time,” he said. “If I crash and burn, just go to next opportunity and keep doing better.”
EMU’s next career fair will take place in the spring in the Student Center Ballroom on March 7, 11a.m. – 3p.m. Multiple other universities will be participating in the fair as well. More information can be found on the Handshake website. Resources are also available at EMU’s Advising and Career Development center.