When a Chapman student or alumni job seeker thinks about the Career Fair, they may feel nervous, unsure, or afraid of all the tables or the employers standing behind them. As a graduating senior, I experienced some of those feelings when I ventured through Attallah Piazza and the Bert Williams Mall for the Spring 2024 Career Fair. It is important to remember that every employer at the Career Fair is tabling because they are excited to meet and learn more about all Chapman students like you! Many students and alumni are eager to get that full-time job or internship that can help boost their resume for future careers. 

While going to the Career Fair might feel like an unsure and objective-less experience, this cannot be further from the truth, and what could be better than to hear about a successful Career Fair experience from a student directly? 

Ann Ngo, a senior Strategic and Corporate Communication major and French minor, is one of the many students who made the most out of her Career Fair experience and other career-related events on campus to help secure an internship to help prepare her for life after college. I met Ann in my Senior Seminar class this semester. Through our in-class discussions, she told me and the rest of the class about her incredible experience as an intern with Northwestern Mutual, whom she met at the Career Fair. Because of her experience, I felt this would be a great experience to share with the rest of the Chapman community through a Q&A format

Here we go! 

*Some answers were edited for clarity purposes*

Can you tell me a little about yourself?
My name is Ann Ngo. I am from Honolulu, Hawaii, but I live in Westminster, CA. I am a Strategic Corporate Communication Major and a French Minor. I am a Financial Planner at Northwestern Mutual looking to become an accredited Certified Financial Planner full time post graduation!

What are you involved with on campus (on-campus jobs, club involvement, etc.)
I work at Chapman’s Human Resources Desk, helping direct people, talent acquisition processing, staff appreciation events, and now the University’s OCTA Rideshare/Metrolink programs. On the side, I am primarily involved in the Vietnamese Student Association, Latinx, Thrift & Flea Club! I was an events intern and event coordinator for the Vietnamese Student Association in my junior year, coordinating our weekly meetings, various fundraising and cultural events, and intercollegiate collaborations.

How clear was your job search/career journey before the career fair?
I was formerly a Business Administration Entrepreneurship minor. I knew I wanted to do something in HR, management, or marketing, but I didn’t know what. I did not know if my communication degree would afford me the same business opportunities once I had switched, so I felt lost, as both domains are vast. I applied to internships on LinkedIn and took on a remote marketing one. There, I decided I wanted to avoid marketing as a whole on the corporate level. I felt even more lost because marketing was the one thing I had my foot in the door for as a user-generated content creator. I needed another internship but needed to decide what field to pursue.

What was your mindset about attending the Fall 2023 Career Fair?
I was determined to reach out to Northwestern Mutual, but I also walked around to explore the other opportunities. Northwestern sold me on their internship program as they assured me my communication background was enough to start, and my determination and consistency would get me there.

Describe your conversation with the Northwestern booth at the Career Fair and what you believe helped you stand out from other students.
I dressed in professional business attire to let them know I was serious and shook the recruiter and college director’s hands after talking to them. I wasn’t sure if my introduction was memorable after the many people who had met them; I was courteous and outgoing, but I followed up to cement my name in their heads.

What was the process like after? Did you follow up with them? Or did they reach out to you to start the onboarding process?
I reached out to the talent acquisition on LinkedIn and thanked them for their time explaining their role and my future role. We set up an informational meeting about the internship program, where I again dressed business professionally. Luckily, it was a one-on-one meeting with the TA, so I could make a more lasting impression and introduce myself more personally. After the informational interview, she was excited about my skills and told me to send her my resumé and take a person-organization fit survey instead of directly applying. I was super excited. I did the survey and brought my results to my first official interview at the next meeting. They told me I was an exceptional candidate and gave me a technical component to complete before our final interview. There, I again showed them my results, and with the college director joining us again, they both extended an offer of employment.

What are your responsibilities in the role? What does the day-to-day look like?
I had first to get certified to transact Life, Health, Sickness, and Accident insurance in California with the state Board of Insurance to be contacted. I then did 4 days of 8-hour training to familiarize myself with insurance, comprehensive financial planning, the company history, and how to complete the internship program. I go to morning meetings daily with fellow interns or the whole company to develop skills and further learn history, encouraging us to have conviction in our conversations with clients. For the rest of the day, I meet with clients, take case notes, consult with other advisors on my cases, and reach out to new and potential clients.

How has this job helped you gain skills (and experiences) for your professional career?
If you are staying in this job after graduation, talk about what you do to make this happen
I am building on my strengths of communication and relatability, which I have had forever, but honing it because it is helping others and making me money. I am helping serve underprivileged communities like my cultural community, giving them financial freedom and building a lifelong career.
I need to hit a certain amount of clients to be able to qualify for full-time, so I am using my marketing and communication skills to market myself as a resource to others and getting in front of as many people as I can to broaden the casting of my net to reach as many people as I can.

What tips do you have for students for future Career Fairs or other career-related events on campus?
I recommend going to every Career Fair and career event available because there are so many companies that are well-connected with Chapman that you can start introducing yourself to. Some may even result in an internship or full-time career, so putting yourself out there does not hurt! It even helps narrow down what you like and don’t like, which is super important since there are so many careers. Take what you have learned with elevator pitches, resumé building, interview prep, etc.… in your foundation classes and apply them because you are in college to build a career.


Please contact me at (808)725-9502 or annngo@chapman.edu for more information about early financial planning in and post-college.

Thank you, Ann, for sharing your story! 

We at the Office of Career and Professional Development are here to help with our twice-a-year Career Fairs and all other career-focused events on campus. If you need help polishing up your resume or just need some help building your elevator speech to employers, come by our office for appointments or drop-ins! You can find the most up-to-date dates and times for drop-ins by visiting this website

‘Til Next Time! 

– Rolando