By Hunter Anderson, Communications Committee Member
The College of Communications will host its annual job fair ‘Success in the City’ on April 25 in New York City. Featuring a variety of prospective employers, the event is a popular networking opportunity for many students looking for jobs and internships, including members of PRSSA’s executive board.
Now a senior, PRSSA President Carolyn Harpster will be attending Success in the City for the fourth year in a row. According to Harpster, the many networking opportunities for Penn Staters as well as her strong desire to work in New York City have motivated her to keep coming back each year. She believes it is worth the trip for anyone who is interested in working in communications.
“You learn so much about how to act in a career fair setting and you get your foot in the door because you are able to meet with recruiters in person,” Harpster explained. “I’ve found that this is way more beneficial than just applying online and hoping for the best.”
Harpster describes networking as an “essential” aspect of the public relations industry. Through Success in the City, she has made useful connections in the public relations world and has been able to interview with companies that attended the event.
“I was able to intern at a lot of different companies because of the people I networked with at Penn State over the last four years,” Harpster said. “Stay in touch with people you meet because you never know what that relationship will lead to.”
PRSSA Director of Chapter Development Kristina Lintz attended Success in the City last year as a sophomore to find the company she would eventually intern for that summer. While Lintz did not receive the internship immediately, the company had her resume on file from the event and called her in May. She agrees that meeting recruiters in person makes a significant difference.
“You get out from behind a computer screen and have a chance to connect with recruiters on a higher level, and that could make a difference in the long run,” Lintz explained. “There are so many companies looking for public relations or advertising students. Whether it’s corporate or a broader public relations firm, there is someone there for you.”
As far as tips for students attending the event for the first time, both Harpster and Lintz emphasize the importance of being prepared. Harpster suggests making a list of companies to talk to, researching them “like crazy,” and knowing what questions to ask recruiters before arriving.
“Doing your homework is so important and it is very impressive to recruiters when you know what their company does and what positions they are looking to fill,” Harpster said.
Lintz, who agrees preparedness is key, also recommends going the extra mile to appear professional.
“Bring 10 more resumes and a few more business cards than you think you will need,” Lintz advised. “Additionally, get both these items printed at a Kinko’s or something around town. It’s worth it to get your resume printed on a nicer piece of paper than the regular paper in on-campus printers.”
Success in the City will take place from noon to 5 p.m. in Time Warner Center’s Conference Center on April 25th, 2014.