At the ECS career fair, Alejandro, Luis, and Lorena had the opportunity to:
Talk to employers in the Engineering and Computer Science Field
Step-up their internship search
Meet employers who will be able to network with them and answer their questions
Give their elevator pitch with confidence
On Thursday, February 20, 2020, I attended my very first career fair. I was of course very nervous because of my fear they would ask me technical questions and I would look like a fool.
I first approached Extron Electronics but this encounter was pure awkward, with me standing there waiting for the rep to ask me something until I just handed him my resume and walked away. A takeaway from that moment is that I need to be prepared to ask questions, remembering that they do not need to impress me, I need to impress them. I tried again with LA Department of Water and Power and this time, it was much better with me asking the rep questions about the company, what they’re looking for, and what he does specifically.
Overall, I spoke to about ten companies such as Advantech, Arrowhead Products, GeoSolutions, and even Panda Express (restaurants also need engineers) and with every new company I spoke with, my confidence level continually increased. What I was glad to see was that these representatives are very understanding of our position: nerve-wrecked college students hoping to make a good first impression. Despite no company emailing me about a possible interview (yet), I’m still grateful that BRDG pushed me to attend the fair because now I know how to prepare for the next career fair.
The career fair at California State University Fullerton was a positive experience. I learned more about internships and jobs, I met new people, and I even picked up some swag from different companies. Unfortunately, I was confined to a limited amount of time before I had to go to class. That made it difficult for me to attend all the booths, but I was able to talk to 10 recruiters.
While speaking with these recruiters I felt nervous, but after a few booths, I felt more confident in myself. The main idea I took away from this event was the importance of being prepared. You have to comprehend that there are plenty of other candidates that are applying for the same internship or job, so you got to stand out.
I would recommend having a solid resume, researching companies beforehand, and dressing professionally. Furthermore, being authentic and having a positive mindset are significant traits. Overall, my experience at the career fair was beneficial. I strongly suggest job seekers to attend career fairs. It allows one to understand what companies are looking for when recruiting, and who knows you may walk out with a job offer.
I have been practicing my elevator pitch with BRDG for about a month. When I approached recruiters, it felt natural talking about myself and I was not as nervous as I was in previous career fairs.
BRDG taught me the importance of getting recruiters contact information to keep updated about my application and also to learn about future opportunities. I was sure to ask every recruiter that I talked to for their business card or email. In addition, I was not always the best with giving firm handshakes but with practice I was able to greet or give my farewell with a handshake.
I spoke with recruiters from Garmin, iD Tech, Young's Market Company, and many more! What I learned from the career fair is what employers like to see in your resume, projects, research, involved in organizations, and why it would benefit them. Overall, my journey at the career fair was a success!