Career Fairs to kick off in second week of February


By Jack McClellan

Students explore career opportunities on both levels of the Scheman Building during the fall 2021 Engineering Career Fair.

Students will have the opportunity to sharpen their professional skills and get their foot in the door of the professional world throughout February during Iowa State’s Spring Career Fairs.

Iowa State will hold the Engineering Career Fair on Tuesday from noon to 5 p.m. throughout Hilton Coliseum and the Scheman Building.

The Ivy College of Business will hold the Fin+Tech Career night on Tuesday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Gerdin Business Building.

The Business Industry and Technology Career Fair will be held the following day, Wednesday, from noon to 5 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum.

Engineering Career Fair

Career Fairs and Student Development Coordinator Kate Cossa said this spring’s Engineering Career Fair is by far the largest the university has ever had.

“They’re coming in full steam,” Cossa said. “They are wanting to hire Iowa State students, they are posting positions, coming to events, recruiting Iowa State engineers, so there are definitely opportunities for students as long as they’re taking advantage of them.”

Cossa said career fairs are a great opportunity for students to interact with multiple employers at once, unlike when applying for positions at specific companies.

Cossa said students sometimes pick out specific companies they would like to work for, yet career fairs allow students to be presented with a plethora of options– some of which they may have never considered.

“They see the sign that says they’re hiring their majors, and they say ‘oh, yeah, I want to go stop by and talk to them,’” Cossa said. “So whereas if you’re just online or just in Cyhire, you may not have that same interaction.”

The College of Engineering Career Services held several events to help students prepare for career fairs last week, including a rapid resume review session and two career development presentations.

“So we highly recommend that students are preparing ahead of time and not just showing up,” Cossa said. “Employers can tell when the students have polished their resume when they’ve researched the company and when they’ve practiced talking about what they want to say to the employers. So we want to make sure that students are ready and that they’re representing themselves in a positive way.”

Business Industry and Technology Career Fair

Career Coordinator Shalika Khindurangala said while the job market is good right now, students should be attending career fairs not only to find jobs and internships, but also to sharpen their professional skills.

“So I think for students who are here like freshmen or sophomores, I think they need to get that skill set of putting themselves out there, getting their brand networking, connecting with employers, connecting with other students,” Khindurangala said.

Khinduragnala said students who complete an internship while in college are 1.24 times more likely to get a job after graduation. She also said students who interact with career services know how to negotiate, leading to higher salaries.

“I have a lot of students who say ‘I’m not going to go because I don’t need a job this summer,’” Khindurangala said. “And I’m like ‘my man, you need to go because you need a job next summer, has nothing to do with this summer.’”

Khindurangala said students wanting to prepare for the career fairs on short notice can set up an appointment or come to express hours offered by the Ivy College of Business Career Services. She also said students can get access to materials with pointers and tips for attending the career fairs.

Fin+Tech Career Night

The Fin+Tech Career Night is an event put on by the Finance Club and the Information Systems (MIS) and Business Analytics Club to allow students to seek out employers specific to their majors. Khindurangala said the event is geared specifically towards certain majors: finance, business, economics, management information systems and business analytics.

“They come in, and they can interact specifically with them, so they don’t have to be like ‘are you at supply chain sorry, but don’t hire for supply chain,’” Khindurangala said.

Khindurangala said this is the third time the College of Business has hosted the Fin+Tech Career Night, which in the past has been well attended. She also said contrary to the larger career fairs, the Fin+Tech Career Night is free for employers to attend.

Khindurangala said students should not pass up the opportunity to attend the Fin+Tech Career Night if it coincides with their major. She said some employers only attend the career night, while others attend the larger career fairs, so to get exposed to the maximum number of potential employers, students should seize every opportunity.

Khindurangala said for students who are unsure about the career fairs, a trip to Career Services could not hurt.

“A student doesn’t need to come with a prepared question,” Khindurangala said. “We can just tell them what they can get from us. It’s just like a starting point, our office.”