Hi everyone! My name is Madeline “Maddie” Hahm, and I am currently a second-semester senior at Amherst College, studying Spanish, Marine Sciences, and Sustainability. I chose to study this particular grouping of courses because I love the earth and
everything it gives us (like the sea), and I enjoy being able to communicate with people all over the globe. For me, those connections symbolize something truly special.
Even though I’m in the home stretch for my time here at Amherst, I still attended the Job & Internship Fair for Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Workplaces this year put on by the Loeb Center, primarily because I wanted to see if there was anything new I could learn. Interestingly enough, I had never been to the fair in years past—life would always get in the way—so I was curious about what I had been missing. Additionally, given that this would be my last opportunity to attend, I figured it would be important to check it out!
My entire experience with the fair consisted of one-on-one sessions with four different companies: Resnicow and Associates (a public relations firm), Analysis Group Inc. (an economic consulting firm), AArete (a management consulting firm), and Penguin Random House (a publishing company). (As you can see, I really took advantage of the wide variety of employers that were there!) Each of the sessions lasted approximately 10 minutes, and we primarily spoke about what a day in the life looked like at each of the organizations and answered my personal questions. Since each session only lasted 10 minutes, there wasn’t much time to go into detail for any of the companies, but I still felt grateful to have some face-to-face time with each of the recruiters.
In total, I would say I spent about 40 minutes at the career fair. Here are my impressions and overall takeaways…
- You should definitely attend even if you don’t think it’s for you! There are so many great companies represented, and it’s worth it to interact with their recruiters.
- Sign up for the one-on-one sessions! It’s a wonderful way to get individual questions answered and to let a recruiter know you are interested in their company.
- On that same note, if you do sign up for one-on-one sessions with recruiters, make sure you have a set of questions ready, as you will not have much time to chat.
- Dress somewhat formally when meeting with the recruiters. (This is just a personal one, but I think it’s good etiquette/practice!)
- Try not to cancel your appointments last minute, as that comes across as unprofessional.
- Along that same line of thinking, if you know you cannot make a session, make sure to send a message. Don’t just leave the recruiter high and dry! I know of some people who did this, and it just doesn’t seem to be that professional, especially if you are hoping to someday get hired by one of these individuals.
- Don’t overbook yourself! When you have the option to interact with many recruiters, it can seem like a really good idea to try to meet with each and every one of them. However, the reality is that this plan can backfire and tire you out. I would recommend choosing a handful of people that you would really like to get to know and then attending group sessions for the others so that you don’t feel pressure to be constantly talking. This can help provide you with a little break but still enable you to learn about each of the companies.
Those are all of my tips—I hope they are helpful! Maybe next year, you will get to make your own list at the fair, too!