With nearly 200 employers and over 350 recruiters, this fall’s career fair was projected to be one of NJIT’s biggest. Prior to the event, I had done my homework. I had the maps printed out, I knew which companies I was going to visit, I had resumes printed, and if the companies had any positions available online I applied in advance. took a shower and was dressed to impress. My mission was simple: discover new opportunities for a summer 2014 internship. It was to be my first career fair and I looked forward to the event.Once I arrived at the career fair, the whole gym and Naimoli Tennis Court were teeming with life. Students, alumni, and professionals from diverse backgrounds had come to market their skills to potential employers within their field. The energy was vibrant and everyone came with a positive attitude. It was great to meet up and network with fellow colleagues and professionals. Time Management plays a key role in the career fair. Get to the career fair as early as you can. While I was there, I did not expect the long waiting times to get to recruiters. As great as it was to observe and have extra time to prepare my elevator speech, people will take advantage of the time that they have with the recruiter. I’ve seen people leave the line because they did not have the patience to wait it out. Make sure to have a backup company to visit that hopefully has a shorter line.
I wished that the event were extended to at least 6pm. Though the number of people did dwindle down later in the afternoon, it was difficult to see students already lined up for a company be turned away by CDS staff or recruiters because of time constraints. I thank the few companies who were considerate enough to wait it out and meet as many students as they can, no matter how short their conversation was going to be. Last but not least, it helps to have a positive attitude. Prior to attending the fair, it was disappointing to hear other students express the little to no prospects a career fair brings. I heard the usual complaints: the companies don’t respond back, your resume will end up in a black hole where your chances of getting reviewed are slim, and so on. I disagree with those naysayers. It’s true that the competition nowadays is so fierce and challenging that you have to go above and beyond to sell yourself. But that does not mean that you should give up or not try at all. There have been success stories from people who have managed to secure opportunities from a career fair. Career fairs teach you a lot of important and difficult realities about life that you have to learn and adapt from.