Career Fairs to offer insight into the professional world



Robert Dillon

Iowa State students speak with company representatives at the Iowa State Spring Business Career Fair at Hilton Coliseum, Feb. 8.



Iowa State is continuing its February career fair events this week with the College of Design and People to People Career Fairs.

The Design Career Fair takes place from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union, and the People to People Career Fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday in the same location.

The College of Design is also holding its third annual Building Up Inclusive Leadership in Design (BUILD) Brunch from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in 3580 Memorial Union.

Design Career Events

Director of Design Career Services Tiffany Atilano said career fairs pose a great opportunity to connect with alumni and employers and explore different career paths. She said the Design Career Fair offers a variety of types of employers and organizations to get involved with.

“We have community arts organizations participating, [and] we have product manufacturers participating. There’s also landscape architecture and university museums and a screen printing company coming for the first time,” Atilano said. “There’s for sure variety for both nonprofits and local organizations and big global firms.”

Brooke Hartmann, a student and career services specialist for the College of Design, said the fair is a good chance for core students to explore the different areas of expertise they can pursue.

“Even if they’re not going in there to look for an internship or a job, they can go in there and they can start networking and seeing if ‘maybe this is the area I want, or maybe that’s not really where I want to go,’” Hartmann said. “So, it’s a really good opportunity for that.”

To prepare for the career fairs, Atilano said students should research employers who will be in attendance through the CyHire app. She said coming prepared with a resume and portfolio and knowing what questions to ask is also helpful.

The MyState app can also be a helpful tool for career fairs, offering an interactive map of the location allowing students to pin favorite employers and assemble a game plan ahead of time, according to Hartmann.

“It’s a little less nerve-wracking than just walking in there and having no idea what direction you’re going,” Hartmann said, “so we’re really excited to be in there this year.”

Atilano said the career fair will bring 125 Iowa State alumni back to campus, which gives students the opportunity to get input on the academic programs they may be interested in as well as look for internships or jobs.

“That’s part of what makes it a good opportunity for first-year students that might be weighing two different programs that they’ll apply to at the end of the year,” Atilano said. “You can learn about what a career might look like in architecture or interior or landscape at the event as much as you can go and learn about positions and internships.”

Some of the alumni who come into town for the career fair will also be present at the BUILD Brunch, allowing students to get connected with people before the career fair actually starts.

Atilano said they began hosting the event to connect students on campus with employers and alumni and to host conversations about the world of work and the role of identity in job seeking as well as to host activities around diversity, equity and inclusion.

For students interested in attending the BUILD Brunch, an RSVP page is available on the College of Design website.

People to People Career Fair

Amanda Schickel, a career services specialist for the College of Human Sciences, said the People to People Career Fair is open to all students but focuses on a number of specific majors and colleges.

Schickel said the focuses include: communications, education, events, government, health, wellness or food, hospitality, human resources, non-profits, social and human services and professional schools in health and law.

Schickel said the career fair offers students a chance to look for career jobs and internships as well as practice their professional skills.

“I think part of it, of course, is based on the career interests of the students,” Schickel said, “but in addition to that, I think career fairs in general are a great opportunity whether a student is looking for an internship or a job or planning to go to a professional school or just if they’re wanting to learn more information.”

Because of the wide range of majors included in the People to People Career Fair, Schickel said it allows students to explore the range of careers they can pursue.

“A lot of times, there’s transferable skills that people have with their majors as well,” Schickel said. “So it’s not like this is the one direction that you can go, but think about your interests and then what are the focus areas of the fair that aligns most with your interests.”

Schickel said for students who don’t know how to prepare for the career fair, the College of Human Sciences is hosting events to help with career fair readiness.

The events include a virtual presentation on career fair readiness from 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday and a drop-by resume review session from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Tuesday in the Forker Building main lobby. For full details on the preparation events, students can visit the College of Human Sciences Career Services website.