Career Fair Experience

By: Aaron Bonner

Today I had the opportunity to attend Fall Career Days. Today was the “Co-op and Internship” Career Day. Being a junior, majoring in Public Relations/Advertising, I wanted to take this opportunity to gather information for obtaining an internship or co-op with a company that interests me. Penn State’s Fall Career Days has become one of the largest career fairs in the country with approximately 500 employers attending and over 8,000 students attending.

My preparations started at the beginning of the week. Researching companies that will be attending the fair was my first priority. I made a list of 25 organizations that interested me and narrowed that list down to 5. I did some in-depth research on each company which consisted of what their mission statement was, future goals, awards, and what type of job openings they offered. After researching the companies, I located the booth in which each company would be stationed. I then continued preparing myself the following day by updating my resume and organizing the materials I would need for the fair. Pens, notebooks, portfolio, research and proper attire would be the necessities to have an appropriate discussion.

I finally was ready to participate in the career fair activities. Although nervous, I handled myself quite well for the first two employers. After situating myself and becoming familiar to the environment, I met with five to seven other employers, which showed an interest in what I had to offer their company.

Career fairs are a great opportunity for students to retain much knowledge and gain experience in real world situations. Currently, I have an informational session with Philip Morris USA, and other companies that showed interest were:

          • USAirways
          • Nielson
          • Boeing
          • Bloomberg
          • United States Postal Service
          • ExxonMobil

If I could give advice to anyone interested in attending the career fair it would definitely be a great attribute to have a personality when speaking to the employers. They have two stacks of resumes at the end of the day; people who made an impression on them and people who did not. That is even before the GPA review, so your first impression should be a confident personality with genuine interest. Separate yourself from people who are “zombies” just handing out resumes.

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