For the second consecutive year, Ohio Wesleyan’s Benes rooms within the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center were filled to capacity for the Career Fair and Graduate/Professional School Expo on September 29. Representatives from 64 schools and organizations talked with a substantial number of OWU students in various stages of their career research and planning. Still one of the best venues for linking students with prospective employers, OWU’s fair had something for everyone, as Leslie Delerme, director of career services explains.
“Career networking is the best way to find a job and is an integral part of a well-rounded job search,” says Delerme. “We had representatives from graphic arts fields, medical and law schools, nonprofit agencies, and investment companies, to mention just a few. It’s up to the students, however, to take the time to stop and engage our representatives in conversation.” There is, as Delerme points out, a real advantage to being in a single location at which so many of these varied conversations are possible.
“The Career Fair is a learning experience,” says Delerme, who advises students to attend the fair, even if they are not currently looking for employment. For those who are looking for jobs, she suggests wearing business suits, taking along copies of their résumés, showing good energy and enthusiasm, and being inquisitive and open to possibilities.
“Don’t pass up an organization based on what you think they do,” advises Delerme, adding that there could be a variety of other positions available within that place of business. For students interested in pursuing graduate study, Delerme and her staff suggest being prepared to ask questions about desired program areas, acceptance possibilities, application processes and deadlines, financial aid, and assistantships.
While the social media explosion has widened networking possibilities tremendously, being part of LinkedIn won’t necessarily link you to the job you are seeking.
“Part of that well-rounded job search includes preparing a portfolio that includes internships or affiliations with professional organizations. An online job search, combined with networking and contacting employers directly, as research shows, work more effectively,” says Delerme.