Career fair designs connections for students

Alexandra Smith

The College of Design Career Fair is quickly approaching. This means students are getting their business attire out and acting as professional as possible for a dose of the real world outside of college. The College of Design Career Fair is scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

Elizabeth Seiberling was once in the shoes of the students attending the design career fair. Seiberling is a intern architect at Shive-Hattery, an architecture and engineering company. She graduated in 2010 with a master’s degree.

When Seiberling attended the career fair, it was much more of a bleak economy, she said.

“The economy was plummeting so I had to make the most of it,” Seiberling said. The career fair resulted in her having a lot of contacts that she had to make the most of in the rough economic times.

She said the economy is on the uprise now so the career fair should be a very positive event this year.

“There are a lot more jobs out there,” she said. “You really have to take charge of your own destiny.”

She suggested talking to as many people as possible. Students should really get a feel for the company and really get to know people.

“This way if you end up talking to them later on down the line you can say, ‘Hey, I met you at career fair a year ago.'” Seiberling said. “Just try to talk to everyone.”

A student can gain a vast amount of contacts from the career fair from lots of different types of companies. Seiberling ran into people everywhere from a design firm, architecture firm and a human resources firm. Seiberling didn’t gain her internship directly from the career fair but it definitely played a big part. She met someone for the first time from her company at the career fair and then just kept in touch with them for a couple years until a position was available.

“There are a lot of people that get their jobs or internships directly from career fair though,” Seiberling said. She had a number of interviews the day after career day and even a year later. Seiberling suggested that during career day students should be as proactive as possible. “Take control and make the most out of your new connections,” Seiberling said.

“I would also advise students to be prepared as possible; research the companies attending so that you can focus on particular companies,” she said.

One thing Seiberling said she ran into a lot was firms asking what she knew about them, so students should know background information.

“And it goes without saying: dress to impress,” Seiberling said. “You never know who you will meet, so look your best.”

She also recommended using the resources the university has, such as Career Services and faculty members to review resumes.