Business & Society

Career Fair Connects Students with Potential Employers

If students are looking for future employment opportunities, they might consider attending the Career Fair.

The annual Career Fair is an opportunity for students to establish job and internship contacts and to explore career opportunities and obtain employer or industry information.

It will take place on March 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the second floor of the Taggart Student Center.

USU is the first university in the state to have a career fair, and this is its 14th year.

Melissa Scheaffer, assistant director of Career Services, said the event has been successful.

"Every year, students report that they got their job offer based on contacts they made at the Career Fair," Scheaffer said.

The center has 102 employers registered from local, state and regional companies. This year, many employers from the federal government will also be at the fair because they're doing a lot of hiring this year.

"We try to have good representation across the board for students," Scheaffer said.

She said they are still inviting companies to come, so if students have specific companies in mind they want at the fair, they should immediately contact Career Services, and they would be happy to extend an invitation.

An employer may talk to several hundred students on the day of the Career Fair, so it is important that students prepare ahead of time to make sure they are remembered by employers, Scheaffer said.

"Especially with the bad economy, the value of making one-on-one personal contact with an employer is critical," she said.

There are ways students can prepare for the fair: They should research companies they're interested in, create a résumé and be confident and knowledgeable enough to approach an employer and talk about the organization they represent, Scheaffer said.

Students should also get a business card from the employers they talk to so they can follow up with them after the fair.

"It really helps set students apart and communicates interest to the employer if they contact them after the fair," Scheaffer said.

She also suggested students write down key things they discussed with the employers so they can refer back to them when they follow up with them.

"The biggest piece of advice I have to students is that they don't wander aimlessly through the fair. That they make sure they have a plan of who they want to talk to, make sure they know about the organization and ask good, relevant questions," Scheaffer said.

"The worst thing for a student to do is walk up and say 'I'm a history major; what do you have for me?'"

Career Services has a Student Host Program, where students choose an employer they would like to assist on the day of the Career Fair. They are the USU contact while the employer is on campus. She said the program is unique to USU.

"Other universities are copying what we pioneered. It is an opportunity for students to provide the employer with valuable assistance that day while they're establishing excellent personal contact with that company," Scheaffer said. "It is a good way to be remembered by an employer. They remember their hosts because of all the help they have given them."

Students can sign up to be a host on Career Services' Web site,

For more information on the Career Fair and how to prepare for it, visit Career Services on the bottom floor of University Inn or go to its Web site.

By Erin Anderson;
Photo illustration by John Zsiray

Career Fair Connects Students with Potential Employers

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