For students looking for jobs and those simply investigating possible career paths, Career Services’ annual career fair returns to Simpson on Feb. 10.
While the exact number of employers at the career fair will not be known until the week of the event, at this point, students will have the opportunity to meet and network with at least 27 different employers. Ranging from US Cellular to Children and Families of Iowa to Target Stores, the employers already set to attend represent a wide variety of career fields and locations.
“There’s big companies (and) there’s small companies, so we’ve got a pretty good variety of people already signed up,” Career Counselor Erin Swancutt said. “That’s what we usually try to target to, anywhere from camps to Fortune 500 companies so that way it’s a good mix for anyone who wants to come.”
Although sometimes overlooked by freshmen or sophomores, Career Services encourages students at all levels to attend and take advantage of all of the opportunities offered.
“First of all, you can get acclimated into talking to employers,” said Jennifer del Pino, director of career services. “You hear other students and what they’re asking and you start becoming more aware of all the different kinds of organizations that are out there.”
Swancutt agreed and offered even more incentive for all students to attend.
“Not all of these companies are just hiring full-time people,” Swancutt said. “They’re looking for interns, they’re looking for summer help and also employers like it that you’re taking effort early on.”
In her experience at the career fair, junior Hannah Landgraf found much of Swancutt and del Pino’s advice to hold true. Although she wasn’t looking for a full- time job, she found that the experience offered great benefits.
“It gives you a chance not only to network with people, but it kind of helps you in the interview process because it’s kind of like an informal interview,” Landraf said. “If you go, you should bring your resume because you can get it out to people.”
For Swancutt, some beforehand research remains a great way to make an impression.
“I think one of the things they should do before they come to the career fair is know a little bit about the companies they want to go talk to,” Swancutt said.
Swancutt also recommends students prepare a short introduction.
“Sometimes students just come up and freeze,” Swancutt said. “If they’re a little bit underprepared they just don’t know what to say and how to introduce themselves and it’s awkward.”
Students should not feel intimidated coming to the fair; however, just as Landgraf advises bringing a resume and Swancutt advises an introduction, Career Services is helping students prepare, too.
The week before the fair, Career Services plans to educate students on proper dress through “dress for success” exhibits placed around campus.
“We have had comments and suggestions from employers in the past saying Simpson students need to come more professionally dressed,” del Pino said. “It doesn’t mean you have to come in a three-piece suit, it just means don’t come in blue jeans and flip-flops.”