By Bryson Durst
Do you need to find a job or internship? Do you want experience interacting with representatives from potential employers? If so, iron your dress shirt, print off that resume and mark your calendars for Wednesday, September 26. From 11AM to 1:30PM, Cedarville University will be hosting its annual Fall Career Fair with at least 107 businesses coming to engage with Cedarville students.
Companies from across the board, such as Chick-Fil-A, Proctor and Gamble, Honda, the FBI, and more will be coming to the Doden Field House looking to to fill available internship and full-time job positions.
According to Ken Rucker, Associate Director of Career Services and job fair coordinator, this will be Cedarville’s largest career fair to date. For students who have been to previous career fairs, Rucker said that the fair will have the same basic setup, as that format has worked out fairly well in the past.
Rucker pointed out that this event is beneficial “for students to actually connect with companies that they might potentially want to work for,” introducing themselves to interested companies. Jeff Reep, Director of Career Services, described a former student at Cedarville who attended multiple job fairs to engage with the same exact company, so that they would eventually recognize him and realize that he was serious about the job. He added that “it’s a great opportunity to get face-to-face with somebody from a company, organization, or grad school,” which can be more helpful and “personal” than an online interaction.
Another reason to go is that underclassmen can get a better idea of the traits and experience that these businesses would like to see, according to Rucker. Reep adds that it is important to start now because it won’t necessarily be a major problem if an underclassman doesn’t get a job or internship at his or her first fair. Senior year, however, finding a job or internship to start after college is much more important. Students are encouraged to learn from their mistakes now, so that way they can perform better as “the stakes get higher.”
Finally, let’s face it, Cedarville isn’t a very large university. Reep pointed out that some schools have as many students studying in one major as Cedarville has in its entire student body. The more students that attend, the more likely it is that companies will come back for future fairs. Even if younger students can’t see the benefits of going now, they can still, by participating, ensure that these companies will be back for more career fairs.
Both Rucker and Reep had some tips for students interested in attending, whether first-time or returning. Career Services will be holding a workshop called “Preparing for a Career Fair” on Tuesday, September 25 (the day before the fair), at 4PM in the SSC Admissions Presentation Room, which will be going over many of the dos and don’ts of a career fair. Students can register for this workshop on Handshake. Rucker stressed that, if students cannot attend that session, they are more than welcome to schedule a personal appointment with either himself or Reep, where they can learn more about dress (business casual or professional), resumes (recommended to be printed on resume paper which can be provided by Career Services, or sent online in PDF format), and tips to successfully interact with representatives before, during, and after the fair.
Among other things attendees should know going in, Reep mentioned that it is best to go earlier in the day (as representatives will “have more energy”), stay as long as possible, and save the most important companies for last so that way students can “get relaxed” and get “an idea of the questions” that they will have to answer.
Students are encouraged to pre-register, which will take place before chapel on the day of the fair. All those who are interested can find more information, including a diagram of the fair, helpful tips and ways to prepare, by going to Handshake (Jobs4Jackets.com), and searching for Cedarville’s Fall Career Fair.
Bryson Durst is a freshman Biblical Studies major. He enjoys theology, history, playing strategy games with friends, and anything Star Wars related.