Updated: Feb 19
Preparing for a transition from college to a career leaves us with many questions. How do I market myself? What are companies looking for in potential employees? What can I do now to prepare myself for a career? Meet the Pros is a wonderful opportunity to get answers to these questions and make connections with employers at your favorite companies. During the first event of the night, an employer panel, I was able to receive personal advice about my own career path given by representatives from distinguished companies in the area, including Cisco, SAS, E&J Gallo Winery, Federated Insurance, and Reunion Marketing. The panel set Meet the Pros apart from other career fairs by not only allowing students to network, but also to receive recommendations from experienced individuals they could potentially work for in the future and have limited opportunities to talk to! During the panel, I did not experience pressure to simply ask questions that would impress employers. Instead, I felt encouraged to proactively engage in conversation and form relationships with them, gaining information about their personal experiences in professional life. Employers on the panel expressed the importance of workplace culture, involvement in school, balancing work life and personal life, and more. This panel also gave me insight into the culture and values held by the companies I am interested in working for in the future. I used this information to guide me as I approached the representatives from these companies in the second event of the night, the career fair.
The career fair portion of the Meet the Pros event gives students the opportunity to have individual conversations with employers and make connections in a comfortable environment. Unlike most career fairs, Meet the Pros encouraged personal connections between employers and students. This inspired everyone to be themselves and be honest about their goals. There were representatives from nine companies available, and they all presented different opportunities! The various types of companies in attendance provided myself and other students with the chance to explore interests and gather options for potential jobs and internships. One of the appealing qualities of this career fair was its flexibility.
Even if you think the career fair is not for you, everyone can gain something from it!
It benefitted all students, regardless of their particular needs and interests. Many who were searching for jobs were able to give employers resumes and seize job opportunities and internships. Other students, like myself, were able to simply make their faces known to company employers to create relationships that could aid in future job hunting. One of my favorite moments from the event was a conversation I held with an employer during the career fair. By making a connection with her and learning more about her company, I felt more confident about my future pursuits in job hunting. This event allowed me and others to grow professionally and gain experience in connecting with high-profile companies. Meet the Pros is an event that incorporates both the opportunity to network and to hear what the pros have to say.