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How to rule the Career and Intership Fair with 1000% confidence

Have you ever had a sense of being socially awkward? Especially in settings when you are surrounded by so many people like a Career and Internship Fair? You sweat a lot while talking with recruiters, and sometimes it is so annoying that before approaching them, you know exactly what you are going to say, but when the moment comes, words in your mind completely go away just like Dory. Believe me, that's totally normal, and in fact, that happens with most students in their first Career and Internship Fair. So this morning the Carlson School of Management Career and Internship Fair took place in TCF Bank Stadium, and it was my second time going to the fair. I have to confess that last time, after the event, I went home and totally lost faith in myself. I prepared so well (at least I think I did) and came to the fair with maximum confidence, only to come back and convince myself that I was a socially awkward applicant. But no more, today everything seemed to turn completely 180 degrees, and I know why it did. The recruiters payed more attention to me, and joined in my conversation with enthusiasm. In this blog, I am going to tell you guys how to Rule the Career Fair with 1000% confidence.


Surprisingly, you may know the secret already. The holy grail is... "Researching companies and do it seriously". Tada! Hey, don't stop reading, there is something more. The thing is you can NEVER wing it or do some last minute researches. Do it well, and do it before big day like 2-3 days. The key word is "Seriously". Yes, you have to do research about your target companies, and you have to do it in a logical and tactical way. Some of you may argue:"I did my research! But I still feel like the recruiters want me to go away". That's because you haven't done it correctly. Here is the golden rule "1/3 page/company is more than enough". So here is my personal tips on how you can do companies research and how you can put what you know into your speech.
1) Google the company name, then log into their website. Here are the only 4 sections you want to pay attention to. About us, News, Services and Student Career Path (usually under "Work with us" section). Now let's dig deeper into each section and take some notes.
2) About us: Alright, here are what you should take notes. First, what is the purpose of the company? (eg: Is it a public accounting, a consulting company, or both). Second, what industry is your company in? (eg: Does it cover several industries from Agriculture to Fashion or only Manufacturing?) Take notes about some of its services, but briefly in one sentence, since we are going to mention it again latter (eg: It offers a wide variety of services ranging from financial to business strategy). Third, is it recently being awarded or named by any magazine or industry report? Remember although corporations and companies have separated identities from its owners, taking about this makes its owners feel happy just like when they are being praised.
3) News: Any acquisitions that worth mentioning? Any new technology it recently adopted? Any changes in top management? As you talk about this to the recruiter, try not to just mention the facts, but also try to somehow show connections of those facts with your interests towards them. For example: As an MIS major student, I am really interested in your recent adoption of a new software...to... Or: As a person who thinks women should have equality in workplace, I value the fact that Ms/Mrs has been promoted as ABC to XYZ positions
4) Services: Talk briefly about what they offer to their customers, but focus on the service that you are gonna apply as an intern/full time job applicant. Before that you should already have some knowledge about that specific service to be able to talk more if any question like: "what do you know about that service" pops up from recruiters. For example: "I am aware that you guys offer a wide variety of services, ranging from A to Z, but what caught my interest is Y" This shows recruiters that you are aware of your career path, and not being like other day dreamers.
5) Student Career Path: Take notes about any opportunities that are available for your college year. Although you might know well about them, discuss them with recruiters as if you only know about the titles and basic activities that involve within each program. Give them the chance to do their job! This helps to shape your image in recruiters' mind as a well-informed student who shows great interests in their companies.
All the best for your career quest, until next time, happy hunting!