On Wednesday April 8, Simpson College held the Human Services Career Fair, one of many throughout the year. But for Simpson seniors, it was a last chance to attend one of these events.
Of the 72 students that attended the fair, 39 percent were seniors. These seniors, coming from a diverse collection of majors, had the opportunity to visit with the 40 companies represented at the fair.
But these seniors had differing aims and goals for their attendance at the fair than did their younger counterparts. Many were not interested in part-time jobs or unpaid internships.
“As a senior, I came prepared to talk with anyone looking for full-time applicants,” said Briana Kottke, a senior double major in criminal justice and sociology. “I actually have an interview after attending the fair.”
Kottke is one of the 83 percent of fair attendees who are expecting to receive follow-up information and inquiries from employers at the fair. With her added years of experience, Kottke had some advice for younger students in preparing for and attending career fairs.
“As a senior, I came prepared with questions,” said Kottke. “I would also say to be open to other options you never thought of before the career fair.”
Kottke’s advice is echoed by other seniors, but senior history major Katie Purvis emphasizes even more the importance of being prepared for these career fairs.
“It’s all about the steps that you took beforehand,” said Purvis. “I have yet to see someone be super successful by just having walked in and not having researched the companies, not having visited career services or not having updated their resume.”
Purvis stresses the importance of recognizing the fact these company representatives are, first and foremost, recruiters.
“These people are recruiters and they’re going to these career fairs to find people who are good fits for their company,” said Purvis. “The one way you’re going to look like that good fit is by having questions prepared and knowing about the company before you show up.”
Building on this advice, senior sports administration major Alex Alberts underscores the importance of being talkative at these events.
“I’ve been to other career fairs and it helps to just be social,” Alberts said. “Especially if you’re not set on what you would like to do after college.”
Career fairs provide the opportunity for students to explore their options and to practice their job-seeking skills. But for this year’s batch of seniors, there is no more practicing, because after May 2, the real world awaits.