This month Lisa Wong ‘25 (Public Relations/Advertising major and Visual Journalism/Chinese minors) took over Career Corner and went to the career fair interviewing employers and Chapman students attending. She wanted to get a better understanding of why a career fair is so important. Take a look at what she discovered.  

Chapman Career Fair, Fall 2022.

Can a  career fair change your life? In our experience, the event offered amazing benefits and opportunities. Here are five reasons you should always come to Chapman’s largest recruiting event!

Job/Internship Opportunities
Meeting numerous recruiters in one place opens many doors to getting hired! We chatted with Sherri Scheck-Merrill from ‘The 60 Seconds Magazine’ about the open positions available for students at this year’s fair. “I have hired students in paid positions after initially meeting at a Chapman Career Fair. The roles have been either Graphic Design, Social Media or Marketing related. In fact, I am looking to do the same again; this time for a Post-graduate Graphic Designer,” he told us.

Explore Different Careers
Many tables hosted by employers across occupational spectrums congregate in one space with a common goal: to find potential interns and employees. What that means for students is that they have the opportunity to see a wide array of careers– people that align with their career interests, and people outside of that category that can pique a new interest. You may have your mind set on a particular professional end goal, but you never know where  conversations and spontaneous visits to an unfamiliar table could lead.. At last year’s career fair, Olga Alvertos, a senior political science major with a business administration minor, had a plan to land a business job or internship. However, she decided to approach the Newport Beach Film Festival table. Reflecting on that experience, Olga said, “Although I originally decided to interview for fun, it ended up being a great opportunity. If I hadn’t attended the career fair I would never have learned that I love working in the film industry. I am currently a Community Partners Outreach Intern, meaning that I work on finding non profit organizations and pair them with films that will be shown at the festival. It’s been a great opportunity, teaching me how the business works and how to interact in a professional setting.”

Of course, you won’t always come out of a career fair with a job in hand or a guaranteed interview. But, if you go in with the intention to meet different people, you’ll always come out of a career fair with more experience in  networking. Building a network is most commonly done through conversation. And what better way to do that than during a career fair with dozens of people looking to make connections through conversation? Talking with different students and employers can offer the chance to hear about the different work people do across the board. It gives you the chance to inquire about projects being worked on, past achievements, and get advice for your own professional journey. Networking creates opportunities to not only work on conversational skills, but to also build a contact list for possible future collaborators and ask questions to a professional. The possibilities within a networking conversation are endless! Who knows where that could lead to for you, professionally?

Finetune Professional Skill Set 
First impressions always matter. In a professional setting such as a career fair, it forces you to think about how you want to be presented in the face of potential employers. What does that entail? Dressing properly in business attire, coming with a resume handy, and preparing self introductions along with an ‘elevator pitch.’ An elevator pitch, meaning, why should a recruiter be interested in what you have to say and offer? (In case you missed it, see this a great blog on elevator pitches.) All of these skills– talking with professionals and presenting yourself professionally– are constantly in a process of being more solidified. Coming to events like this gives you the opportunity to practice being comfortable in those kinds of environments. Student Olga Alvertos, concurs, “The career fair was a great way to practice talking to different professionals, and learn how to hand out my resume and ‘sell’ myself.”

Connecting with Recruiters
With recruiters having the goal to find new hires, and students looking to get hired, it’s agreed upon that both parties intend to help each other. Remember, recruiters are here because they want to help you get real experience in the workforce. Fairs like this one are great environments for recruiters to show up and find potential candidates. They’re here because they look for the right fit in their company. Putting yourself out there, in this space, allows you to be a part of that potential match pool with a recruiter! Recruiters are your friends and they want to be a part of your job or internship hunting process.

If you weren’t able to be a part of this semester’s career fair, keep your calendars flexible for Chapman’s 2023 Spring Career Fair! Make sure to keep these tips in your back pocket when that time comes!