Temple’s career fair helps students build their professional careers
The Career Fair is one of the regular events held by the Temple’s Career Center.
It is an avenue for students to jumpstart their career, as it provides them with the opportunity to network with various professionals from a wide array of industries.
For some, attending Career Fair for the first time can be daunting. Marcel Lu, a junior majoring in communication studies, said that he struggled to make the first move.
“It was overwhelming at first because there were hundreds of companies lined up and I didn’t know where to start. Although I prepared some questions beforehand, I was still confused as to which company I should talk to first,” Lu said.
Sylvia Dao, an international student from Vietnam, is studying journalism. She says that she came to the career fair confident and ready to accomplish her goals.
“It was a little nerve-wrecking, but I was pretty confident. There were long lines for more popular companies like Comcast, whereas smaller companies like start-ups generally had shorter lines,” Dao said. “You have to have your elevator pitch ready as a conversation-starter. I was not intimidated because they were there to talk to the students, after all.”
According to Sylvia, the key is to be proactive.
“Building your connections goes on even after the event. I would follow up with employers afterwards, such as by meeting up with them for coffee or simply sending thank-you notes within 24 hours after the event,” Dao said.
Both of them agreed that networking was not easy. Nevertheless, they believe that the experience helped them to step out of their comfort zones and ultimately honed their networking skills.
They also benefited through gaining greater insights into various opportunities that they were not aware of previously.
For Marcel, the career fair landed him an internship as a site operations associate at City Year, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping students and schools succeed.
“City Year was one of my top choices. I got to pitch myself to the recruiter, and my advanced preparation in researching the company helped me to make a good first impression,” Lu said.
Just like Sylvia, he also followed up with the recruiter immediately after the event.
“I sent the recruiter an email and asked about internship opportunities. Although she told me that she did not have any available positions, she referred me to her colleague who was looking for an intern,” Lu said. “Her reference led me to getting the position.”
By Michelle Pangestu