Photo by Sergio Sericolo
The Siena College Spring Career, Internship and Graduate Fair was held on March 15th, 2016 in the MAC. I, fortunately, had the opportunity to attend this years’ fair for the first time in my college career. With over 120 organizations attending, I knew some preparation had to take place to aid me in standing out among the crowd. The first extra precaution I took to train for this event came a week prior through the services at Career Center. The Siena College Career Center took it into their own hands to create and host a night for mock interviews and résumé critiques. Upon attending this event, I dressed appropriately and brought several copies of my résumé, as there were representatives from seven different organizations present to provide advice. This event proved extremely beneficial, as it was very helpful to sit with an individual whose job it is to look at résumés. Leaving this event, I felt confident enough to hand my resume to any professional at the career fair. Not to mention the importance of the connections made with those individuals at the critique night that would later be present at the fair.
With the résumé refined, it was time to learn a little bit about internships and careers. The Student Internship Panel allowed for just that. This panel brought together six students from various disciplines to describe their different experiences and journeys. Their advice and knowledge was extremely valuable and their ability to completely answer audience questions made for a full/well-rounded panel. Being a Marketing major myself with an English minor, this panel shed some light on some opportunities and transferrable skills I was previously not aware of. This panel ultimately gave me more confidence in my academic focuses and taught me how to better market myself within both Business and Liberal Arts realms.
The night before the fair had come and I made it my mission to study a few companies in order to have something to converse about, as one of my largest fears was a daunting silence between a potential employer and me. After I felt knowledgeable about companies of my interest, I set out to have a good nights rest. The day of the fair had arrived and I could not help to feel a little nervous. After putting on my best professional wear and studying my qualifications, the time had come to make some connections. The first introduction is always the hardest and as I approached mine, I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d say. However, my education in liberal arts gave me the communication skills to hold a natural conversation while my business skills boosted my professionalism. This combination gave me the tools and confidence to approach any booth and communicate with ease to anyone. Similarly, when these representatives asked about my academic background, it was not exactly my marketing focus that caught their attention but, instead, my liberal arts one that sparked their interest. With business knowledge but also the appropriate knowhow in communication, learning, and writing, these individuals could not wait to take a glance at my résumé. This is also, I’m assuming, one of the reasons a lot of these companies were also prompted to email me following the event. The transferrable skills I have acquired through my education at Siena College have adapted me into quite the asset for a company.
In all, the networking experience of such an event gave me the tools necessary to be confident in my own abilities/skills and helped me to make some great connections. If nothing comes of any of this, I will still be forever grateful to have the opportunity to participate in such a grand networking event. Walking up to a complete stranger and sparking up a riveting conversation was never something I’d call a strength of mine but this event surely turned that around. This career fair was helpful beyond anything I had imagined and simulated a very professional environment that I recognize will help me in the near future. For any of those thinking about attending a future career fair, I would definitely recommend taking all the precautionary measures possible to succeed at the highest level.