By: Lauren McGonigle
Each year the career fair approaches faster than some of us may like, but that is why it is so important to prepare before it becomes stressful. When arriving on campus as a freshman, I learned very quickly just how important this event is. For some reason, there was this stigma that “only juniors and seniors need to attend”. Fortunately, I was quickly informed just how wrong that statement was.
I will admit, the words career fair terrified me. When I was assigned, in my freshman seminar, to attend and talk to recruiters, my heart dropped. I thought to myself, what was the point of going? With no previous skills or experience, no one will be interested in talking to me. However, I did not recognize I was attending for my own benefit and it was just practice for the real deal. Attending the career fair as a freshman or even a sophomore is great experience that can be helpful in the future when that dream job or internship is on the line. Even if you do not plan on obtaining your internship or job through an event like this, it is still a good way to exercise your skills for the professional world.
Being present as a freshman I was able to gain knowledge of what to wear, how to prepare beforehand, and what exactly some of the recruiters were looking for in an applicant. Being surrounded by anxious or determined upperclassmen was also a significant part of my experience because it gave me an insight of what type of atmosphere to expect.
Fast forward to my sophomore year and I was feeling great! I had confidence, poise, and was familiar with specific companies and their background information. Yes, this time was more competitive but it was still a learning process. Personally, I could not imagine walking in to the career fair as a junior or senior for the first time without any clue of what to expect.
Overall, attending the career fair as a freshman and sophomore has only strengthened my skills and continues to help me prepare for my future career. I encourage every freshman and sophomore at this university to attend, even if you don’t speak to a recruiter! Check it out and get your foot in the door because it is never too soon.