A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Shepherd University’s Career Fair. Since I am currently working part-time as a recruiter, an opportunity that should turn into a full-time position after I graduate this May, I was not too excited to attend the fair. In fact, I was required to attend per my Business Communications class. I have never attended a career fair before and did not know what to expect. However, after reading over the list of employer attendees, several agencies intrigued me, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. When I look into my future, I always see myself working for one of these government agencies. At the very least, I felt that I could do some networking at the career fair and obtain important information about the agencies and their job opportunities.
When I arrived at the career fair, I was somewhat overwhelmed. The area was filled with students and employers. To be honest, I did not even know where to start. I picked the closest aisle to walk down and begin glancing at all of the boards the employers displayed to understand more about each company. As I walked through the first aisle, I tried to keep a smile on my face as I passed every single employer. Because I was unsure of the proper way to approach an employer from which I wanted more information, I just kept walking. Finally, I saw a display for a counseling center. No other students were around and I was able to walk up to the poster board and begin a discussion with the woman representing the company. She pleasantly gave me some more information about the company, but she seemed more nervous and confused than I did. This experience gave me the confidence I needed to start talking to other employers; after all, they came to look for potential employees! After walking around the entire fair, I was able to talk to the FBI and gain some excellent information about the kinds of positions for which I should be applying. I was also able to connect with a HR manager from American Public University Systems.
Overall, I am glad that I was able to attend the Career Fair this year. The Shepherd University Career Development Center spends a lot of time, money, and effort to put those types of beneficial events together for the students. Hopefully more students will take advantage of these types of opportunities in the future. Although I did not walk out of the Career Fair with my dream job, I was able to network with influential and important business people. Furthermore, I gained experience communicating and interacting with HR professionals, hiring managers, and other company representatives. I gained more confidence speaking with business people and obtained a look into the real, professional world.