How to Prepare for the Career Fair

More than 50 employers are participating in SMU’s Career and Internship Fair on Wednesday, February 16, from noon to 4 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Caryn Statman, assistant director of the Hegi Family Career Development Center, says students should review the list of participating companies and their open positions before they attend the fair. The list is available here.

“I urge students to visit company websites and jot down a few notes so they can have informed discussions with the employers at the fair,” she says. “By gathering information beforehand, students will be more targeted and strategic in their approach.”

Other Hegi Career Center staff members also offered tips:

CareerFair.jpgAllison Rhodes, assistant director of operations:
Practice networking and getting your message across with career counselors, your parents or in front of a mirror before you get in front of an actual employer.

Marva McGrew, associate director of employer relations:
Arrive at the beginning of the fair, and know what employers you will visit. Recruiters are fresh and ready at the start of the fair.

Think about a typical day on the job: You arrive at 8 a.m., ready to go to work. You have had your coffee, and you are working down your list of “to do’s.” As you are wrapping up at 4:50 p.m., someone drops by to visit. Are you going to be focused on that individual, or focused on rushing that person out the door so that you can leave? Chances are it would be the latter. Well, so it is with the Career Fair. Recruiters are fresh and ready to go at noon when the doors open. Start early, start fresh!

Darin Ford, director:
As a potential colleague, display the confidence, enthusiasm and ability to think and speak “on your feet” – and under the microscope.

Janet Lewis, assistant director of career counseling:
After talking with an employer, jot down relevant information and repeat it in your thank-you note. This communicates interest and attention to detail, and also helps the employer remember you.

• Read about a Hilltop Ambassador’s internship plans here.

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