Spring Career and Internship Fair
More than 70 organizations will be represented by employers recruiting for full-time and part-time jobs, internships and graduate schools at the annual Spring Career and Internship Fair from noon to 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 in the Nigh University Center Grand Ballrooms.
Elizabeth Enck, director of the UCO Career Development Center said the number of attendees for the fair was down last semester with only 180 students attending, but her goal is double those numbers this year.
The fair is free for students and alumni, but professional dress is strongly encouraged by the Career Development Center, and attendees should bring several copies of reviewed resumes for employers. This is also tagged as a Student Transformative Learning Record event for the Health and Wellness tenant.
Crystal Davis-Cook, assistant director of the UCO Career Development Center said employers at fairs expect professional attire and that suits help students stand out, although business casual will also demonstrate professionalism and help with a good first impression.
“Typically when you apply for a job or internship, the only thing the employer has to go off of is your resume,” Davis-Cook said. “The fair gives you a chance to have a conversation and really express why you would be a great addition to that organization.”
Preparation for a career and internship fair is important for the process, which is why the Career Development Center has many resources on their website to assist students with the preparation.
“A career fair isn’t something you want to just show up to,” Davis-Cook said. “Employers are going to be evaluating you for positions they have available so you should treat it as seriously as you would an interview.”
There is a special walk-in opportunity on Feb. 5 at the Career Development Center in the NUC to get a resume review from a recruiter from 3-5 p.m., and if students are unable to attend, the center also offers resume reviews with their staff through appointments, other walk-in times and online.
Enck said one of the first things students should do is look up the list of employers that are attending the fair and researching those employers. This gives students the opportunity to create a strategic plan for how to communicate with employers in this setting, and to find out which employers and or graduate schools are recruiting for what major.
“The more you know about [the employers and recruiters], the more you can prepare and ask questions to help you and them see if you are a good match,” Enck said. “You don’t want to just walk up and say, ‘Hey what do you do?,’ especially if you are interested in opportunities with them.”
During this preparation, both Enck and Davis-Cook said another good thing to have ready is an elevator pitch. This would be a 30 second pitch for the student to give their name, major and what they are looking for in a career.
“It can actually be helpful to speak with a company you aren’t that interested in first to help practice your pitch and to get some of your nerves out of the way,” Davis-Cook said.
The Career Development staff also recommends that students be themselves and come to the fair with confidence. The staff will also be available at the fair to answer any questions and help calm nerves.
“Employers value what UCO students have, what they are learning and they are definitely interested in hiring and recruiting from our school,” Enck said.
On the Career Development website there is a career fair tip guide available called Career Fair Tips that has a checklist and a place to prepare an elevator pitch to tell employers. The list of employers attending the fair and the majors they are recruiting can be found at hirebronchos.com.
The Career Development Center, located in NUC 338, offers a variety of assistance to students and alumni: help exploring majors and careers, help gaining experience through finding part-time jobs and internships, resume critiques, interview assistance and practice, help in the job search process and help with graduate school application processes.