Calling all job-seekers at Georgia Tech – the first-ever spring All Majors Career Fair will be held Thursday, Feb. 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in McCamish Pavilion.
All Georgia Tech students and recent alumni are invited to attend. More than 100 employers will be in attendance and will be looking to fill various types of professional employment, from summer internships to full-time positions. Here’s more information about the fair, why you should go, and how you can prep.
While the career fair for all majors held in the fall is led by a student committee, this event has been coordinated by a team within the Center for Career Discovery and Development (C2D2) that includes Employer Relations Coordinator Alan Botkin and Director of Employer Relations Patricia Bazrod.
Botkin joined the team for the career fair this past fall and has managed company registration, logistics, and scheduling for the upcoming fair.
Employer spots at Georgia Tech career fairs are in high demand — registration for the spring event opened in November and has garnered 120 registered companies, with 89 on a waitlist
“The Georgia Tech fall career fair is where most recruiters start their Southeast recruiting tour,” Bazrod said. “The spring career fair has proven to have similar appeal to companies.”
Luckily, waitlisted companies have the opportunity to participate in a virtual career fair on Feb. 15. Look here for more details.
More than 100 companies will be attending the event, making it the perfect opportunity for students to begin building a professional network. Employers will range from Fortune 100 companies to the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) to the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). A full list of employers can be viewed here. For those attending the event, no pre-registration is required, but bring a GT ID or BuzzCard for admittance.
This is the first time a career fair will be held in McCamish Pavilion since its renovation in 2012. The change of location is expected to help with lines, navigation, and access for students. Students can attend any time between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. and can re-enter throughout the day.
Fourth-year chemical and biomolecular engineering major Yuri Terada has a unique insight on career fairs at Tech. She worked with C2D2 at both the 2016 Spring Internship and Co-Op Fair and the 2016 All Majors Fall Career Fair, assisting with check-in and directing attendees around the fair.
“Meeting the recruiters and asking about their experiences with a company is the best way to learn if the company and the position are a good fit for you,” she said. “The career fair provides students with an opportunity to make an impact on recruiters while gaining practical knowledge.”
A typical conversation with a company representative at a career fair revolves around a student’s resume. This gives students the chance to elaborate on their experiences and highlight their accomplishments.
“Often times,” Terada notes, “recruiters ask you to tell them more about your experiences, so that’s a good chance to walk them through your resume and focus on your skills.”
Toward the end of a fruitful conversation, students are encouraged to ask for the recruiter’s business card or contact information. Having the business card of a representative allows the student to follow up with the organization, send a thank you note, and have a direct contact to a company they might be interested in.
“The spring career fair is great for students who may not have been prepared for job searching during the fall semester,” Botkin said. He also noted that the career fair exposes students to companies they may not have seen before and allows them to get an understanding of a company’s culture.
“I knew of a student who was considering an offer for a job at a large company but turned down the offer after attending the fall career fair and finding a smaller company that seemed like a better fit, ” he said.
Some students may believe that career fairs are a one-stop shop for a job, but that isn’t always the case. This does not mean they should avoid going, however.
“The career fair is a great time for exploration,” Bazrod said. “Go ‘shopping’ and find a company that interests you.” The career fair offers valuable networking time, regardless of whether a job is found.
How to Prepare
- Look your best. First impressions are important. Try to dress in business professional attire. This includes a suit with a tie for men and a suit, pantsuit, or dress with a jacket for women. Neutral colors and conservative footwear are encouraged, as is clean grooming. Campus Closet is a great resource for students looking to rent business attire.
- Do your research. Check CareerBuzz to look at the positions companies are hiring for. Read the job descriptions and take note of your skills that match with those desired. When you’re speaking with the representative, highlight those attributes. It also doesn’t hurt to know about a company’s culture, background, and goals. Asking specific questions of a representative will show them that you have genuine interest in their organization.
- Prepare with C2D2’s help. Workshops will be held throughout the week for career fair preparation. A list of events can be viewed here. Advising is also available for students seeking career assistance. Here are more details on career advising.
- Allow yourself enough time. Plan your schedule in advance so you can make the most of the career fair. Don’t hesitate to come in and out of the fair between classes. Fairs are often busiest during lunch hour, so plan to encounter longer lines during those times. Once you arrive at the fair, get your bearings and locate the companies you’re interested in speaking to. Use the C2D2 Career Fair App for a map and list of attending companies.
- Prepare your career portfolio. Practice a “career pitch” ahead of time to ensure that you’re comfortable talking with recruiters. Bring multiple copies of your resume. Think of your goals and place an objective statement at the top of your resume, so recruiters will know exactly what you’re looking for.
- Take notes. After speaking with a recruiter, jot down a few things that stood out to you from the conversation. Include further questions, application dates, and contact details that were mentioned.
- Be kind to yourself and others! Don’t get discouraged if a recruiter seems disinterested or tells you to “apply online.” Remember that they’ve talked with hundreds of students and might just be tired from the day. Respect other students at the fair, keep your conversations to a reasonable length, and don’t forget that everyone’s in the same position — job searching!
Last revised August 1, 2017