Track II: Career Exploration programs
For my first professional development experience at Villanova University I went to the Career Fair in the Pavilion. The Career Fair occurred on September 11th from 2-6pm with over 150 different employers looking to hire not only interns but also full time employees. I was not as prepared as many of the upperclassmen because I did not have a resume to hand out or any idea what I was looking for but I still went around to all of the booths so I would be more comfortable in the future when I would be looking for a job.
Many different employers from all different sorts of fields with tables set up to talk to the students to find potential employees and promote their company. With that said what I realized as I took a lap around the tables was that most of the companies were banks and manufacturing firms looking for accountants and engineers. After getting over the first reaction of ‘I wish I was an engineer or wanted to do accounting’ I realized that they all had free stuff to hand out and I might as well go talk to them anyways.
So I did, I practiced talking and interacting with people who were looking to hirer students. Unfortunately my nametag said freshman on it so I was not treated as a potential employee but more as a kid to talk to which turned out well for me. I ended up asking them more questions than they asked me to see what they liked to see on resumes and any clubs they particularly like and what not. Many of them didn’t give me straight answers but said it was a good idea to be well rounded and be involved. I realized what I would need in the future to help promote myself and make myself look like a good candidate. The biggest revelation I experienced was realizing how many companies are out there. There could be whole isles of booths where I had never heard of their company before and really no idea what they did. It was strangely comforting to me to realize that I had a lot to learn about the business world that you can’t just learn through experiences growing up.
I had three experiences that I’m going to share because they were interesting to me. I talked to Lael Hoegen who is the director of Human Resources at PeopleLinx, I have her business card and she was very nice to me but told me most of the information about the company that I would want to see was online. Another company, Park West didn’t seem very interested in talking to me when I went up to their booth, the lone representative was talking to someone at another booth, so I took some of the free stuff they had on the table and moved on. I also talked to an accounting firm and they had me sign up to be on their email list even though I told them I wouldn’t want to go into accounting and then preceded to not give me any free stuff which disappointed me. What was so odd to me about these three encounters is that none of them really seemed interested in me. They all seemed like they were just going through the script of what to say and sent me on my way. Even if they didn’t see me as a potential employee this year they should realize that at some point I would be and now I have a more negative impression of their companies.
Overall I would say I am glad I went to the career fair and am defiantly planning on going every year until I graduate.