Preparation and Practice Key to Success at Job and Internship Fair
Preparation and Practice Key to Success at Job and Internship Fair

by Dave Cranshaw
UNH Today Editor

Warren Kwan, a talent acquisition specialist and a regional recruiter for Enterprise Rent-A-Car – the largest recruiter of college graduates in the U.S. –  wants to let students in on a little secret.

“The employers are just as nervous as the students,” he said. “It is human nature that people are nervous meeting new people. We are trained more on how to do it, but there is still an initial nervousness.”

Kwan will be among the representatives from more than 50 companies who will be on campus on Friday for the spring semester Job and Internship Fair. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Beckerman Recreation Center. (View a list of companies that will be in attendance.)

Students will have the opportunity to interact with representatives from more than 50 companies at the spring Job and Internship Fair on Friday, March 28.

Practice and preparation can help students control their nerves, ensuring they make the best impression possible and get the most out of the event, says Kwan. To start, students should have a rehearsed a 30-second pitch that includes their names, majors and intentions for attending the fair.

“If you have a good elevator pitch, the conversation can flow from there,” said Kwan. “A lot of employers meet a candidate at a career fair, and they are trying to dig for every response. I shouldn’t be digging for your name or major. It should be provided up front so it can be a conversation starter.”

One way for students to make an impression, Kwan said, is to talk about relevant experiences such as a leadership role in club or organization or a class project that relates to a the job you want. Students also should do some research on the companies they plan to meet with.

“Don’t be afraid to walk up to a table," said Kwan.  “The companies are there for the students, and we want to speak to them."

Students of all majors and class years are encouraged to attend the fair. It is never too early for a student to start exploring post-graduation opportunities, especially those pursuing a career in a specialized field such as law enforcement.

Juan Morales, a trooper first class in the Connecticut State Police who serves as a recruiter, said that a potential candidate could spend 12 to 18 months pursuing a job with a law enforcement agency. 

A person interested in a career with the Connecticut State Police has to successfully navigate a series of seven selection stages to become a viable candidate. “This requires a high level of focus and commitment, which only those candidates who have been preparing themselves for a career in law enforcement tend to have.”

Caitlin Toohey, a manager of campus recruiting at KPMG, said the biggest key to success at a career fair is being proactive.

“The strongest candidates are often those who are actively seeking more exposure from an individual employer and are effectively communicating their interest,” she said. “Know what image of yourself that you want to project to an employer. Remember to relax and be yourself.”

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