October 1st, 2014 saw hundreds of students and scores of companies in the Gordon Field House for the annual Fall Career Fair. I've previously written about my preparation process for the Career Fair but I've never shared my experiences or what I do after the fair ends. This fall I went to the fair with the goal of networking and meeting professionals in my industry.
I utilized Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services resources to find company interest sessions and to find RIT alumnni from the companies represented. Attending the interest sessions is always useful to me as I can take more time to have conversations and talk with the company's representatives. After the interest sessions I take time to update my career spreadsheet with company and job specific information. The spreadsheet allows me to keep my information organized and track my relationships with various companies and organizations. I'll then usually connect with the individuals I met at the fair on LinkedIn or send an email to thank them for their time and advice.
Again this year I volunteered as a "Wireless Wizard" assisting companies get online. This gave me the opportunity to enter the fair more than an hour prior to the start which meant that I could scope out where I wanted to go in-person and even meet with some of the company reps that I wanted to speak with. Once the fair started I followed my list and map to visit the booths I had previously designated as being interested in. As expected there were long lines for some of the more prominent and well-known companies so I had visited as many of the other booths on my list with smaller lines as I could. Due to class and other commitments I wasn't able to stay as long as I wanted to but when I left I was satisfied that I had a way of connecting with the companies that I wanted to.
After the fair ended I was treated to a dinner by my co-op employer, Symantec. It was great to see and catch up with my team and enjoy a nice meal. I was happy to hear that the division was doing well and that the work that I contributed to the projects I was tasked with were adding value to the company.
The fair culminated with me getting asked to visit Boston, MA for an interview for a summer co-op. I am excited to see where that discussion takes me and I am thankful for the Career Fair for providing the opportunity.