The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Crafting the perfect first impression

Career+Fair
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver
Career Fair

Engineering students in search of jobs and internships will have the opportunity to meet with recruiters from around 390 companies during the spring Engineering Career Fair.

The Student Engineers’ Council (SEC) will host the fair on Jan. 23 and 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Reed Arena. The fair is only open for current Texas A&M students and does not require registration or payment for attendees.

Some companies will only be at the fair for one day. Engineering career adviser Abdullah Abdul Kader said that students should research companies ahead of time and tailor their resume accordingly, develop an elevator pitch and come up with specific questions for their top companies. Students are also encouraged to apply to those positions before they talk to recruiters.

“You don’t want a student to walk up to an employer and ask what do they do,” Abdul Kader said. “By learning more about the expectations of the company, by learning about what job opportunities they have, what does the job description ask for, they are able to better prepare their resume and have information that’s specialized towards one employer.”

Abdul Kader attended career fairs and organized one as a student before working as a recruiter. He recommends that students incorporate their experiences outside of academics in their elevator pitch in order to stand out from the crowd.
“I used to include that I was a student leader on campus,” Abdul Kader said. “I was a leader of four organizations on top of being a full-time student and working 20 hours. I was able to emphasize that along with other things on my elevator pitch and that definitely I felt was interesting to the employer.”

SEC career fair co-chair and chemical engineering junior Abhi Dhillon said attending a career fair can help build confidence. Dhillon got his position as co-chair from attending the career fair every semester.

“It takes a lot to go up to a recruiter that you’ve never met before and just start a conversation,” Dhillon said. “You’re selling yourself essentially, so you have to understand your own strengths and your own weaknesses. It made me learn a lot about what I do well.”

Dhillon said freshman should still attend the career fair even if they don’t know what field they want to go into or don’t think they’ll receive a job offer. According to Dhillon, 50 to 70 percent of former students attribute their current job to attending a career fair.
“Getting that experience ahead of time, when they do have a major [and] when they’re ready to get a job, it makes it so much easier,” Dhillon said. “It’s great practice.”
SEC President and computer science senior Reed Hampton said students should not start reciting their resume when first meeting a recruiter, and instead, talk to them like they would anyone else.
“These recruiters stand there and they talk to somewhere between two to four thousand students a day,” Hampton said. “Take a moment and be personal. Ask them how their day is going. Try and get to know the recruiter. I know it’s not a long opportunity, but make an impression.”
In addition to organizing the career fair, the SEC hosts industry nights and department informationals to allow engineering freshmen to hear from companies, professors and other students from different sectors in the college and industry.

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