ProFair helps students network while job seeking

Hearts beat fast and nerves ran higher. How do I network? How do I communicate? How do I present myself? These are just a few of the many questions that probably ran through the minds of students as they met with potential employers on March 23 at the annual spring ProFair.
Students roamed a packed Rogalski Center Ballroom of employers, looking for potential internships for the upcoming summer season or maybe for something more permanent. The spring fair is always more popular, not just with students but with employers as well, because graduating seniors begin to feel that crunch of the career world. Time is running out to procrastinate and work must commence.
Events like these help introduce the organizations to college students, not just locally, but on a national level as well. There were community businesses such as Hy-Vee, Happy Joe’s, and media outlets, but also national names like Target and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, reminding students that they don’t have to think local when job searching.
“This is a great opportunity for us to highlight our organization and get people who are interested in doing service for their community,” Chad Driscoll, Big Brothers/Big Sisters program director said.
The unobvious choice like Big Brothers/Big Sisters gives students the advantage of taking on opportunities that they didn’t expect to find. As Driscoll explains, it’s sometimes the path you didn’t expect to go down that leads to where you want to end up.
“Even if it’s not something you went to school for, take advantage of it,” Driscoll said. “You never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn from the experience.”
Heather Stocking, a counselor for the Career Center, believes that events like these and the Resume Drive-thru help students strengthen themselves for when they meet potential employers. Asking the right questions and preparing their résumés correctly will give them a definitive advantage over their lesser-prepared counterparts.
“As a smaller career fair, it’s nice to get that face time and letting them be able to meet with somebody,” Stocking said. “We always tell students that if you’re not interested in the company, then maybe it’s the company you start with.”
The overall goal is for the students to meet one-on-one with the companies. Fairs like this let the students be much more than just a résumé on a desk somewhere. With just over 50 companies, and six new comers from last fall, the fair is the perfect place to learn about businesses that maybe the students just don’t know about.
One student, junior James Herzig, went in with one goal- to meet people and have a good time. He accomplished more than that though; he may have found a potential summer job.
“I was looking for internships and some of them looked pretty cool,” Herzig said. “They were mostly summer internships, but hopefully I’ll get a call back.”
And even though this was his first ProFair, he wasn’t worried. He set his sights on a purpose for going and exceeded them.
“I was a little nervous at first because I didn’t really know what to expect,” Herzig said. “But after the first few tables, it got easier and easier.”
To find even more resources offered by the Career Center, students can visit their page on the SAU website or stop by their office in the Rogalski Center.

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