Going to the career fair

By Вen Li

For a number of years, students have visited the annual Career Fair. For a number of years, they have been disappointed.

Almost everyone hiring at the fair required that potential applicants hold some kind of degree. This shouldn’t be a problem for university graduates, but they left university in the summer. Bright-eyed frosh and third-year students without degrees needn’t apply to be a big-box retail supervisor, a bank teller, a meat packer, or a car rental sales representative.

What, then, is the point of holding a career fair in September? Many more students seeking jobs convocate in the summer than in November, and substantially more summer jobs not requiring degrees would be available for everyone in a spring career fair.

And while exposing students to potential employers has its own benefit, it’s almost certain that no student not already affiliated with a recruiter like Conaco Phillips would make working for them their singular priority for their entire university careers.

Besides collecting a year’s supply of branded stationary and blinking lights, there is little appeal to some students. On the wall of energy companies, the line of banks and accountants, and the cluster of civil service recruiters, there is very little for humanities or students in the organizers’ “other” category. There certainly were not “executives from over 60 companies” to meet as promised by the brochure–most companies were represented by human resources people and public relations flacks who didn’t have details about available positions.

In short, while the AISEC organizers’ efforts were valient, students might be better served by a spring career fair, or faculty-specific job fairs.

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