Prepare for the Career Fair: The Specifics

Posted October 3, 2013 by Marilu Hagen in Career Moves

Last Thursday the University of Wisconsin-Madison held their annual Fall Career and Internship Fair. As a senior at this university I, along with many of my peers, attended the fair to talk to various companies and put my face to the name they would possibly be reading on my resume in the next year.

UW-Madison offers countless majors and has 21 different schools within the university. One of the most competitive, well-funded and alumni supported of these is The Wisconsin School of Business. Throughout my three plus years here the business school has become the subject of mockery, not because the education within is less than any other school, quite the opposite. The attitudes of the business school students scream, “As a b-school student I work harder, have a heavier work load, and am guaranteed a six figure salary in my career.”

Therefore, these students walk in the Fall Career and Internship Fair like they own the place. I am here with a few suggestions of how to enter into a career fair with the preparation essentials of a business school student, without actually having to be one:

  1. Make a nametag, a sturdy one. The b-school students are each given a plastic name tag with their name, major and “The Wisconsin School of Business” engraved on it. Everyone else who walks into the fair is given a sheet of paper, a pen, and a name tag holder. My suggestion is to invest in having a plastic, professional-looking name tag made for yourself with all the important information employers need to know right away.
  2. Get a folder, preferably leather.Last year at the spring career fair I walked in with a black binder that contained a small stack of my resumes to hand out. Since then I have purchased a (faux) leather portfolio/resume holder. It is thinner and looks nicer when I pull out a resume for a potential employer.
  3. For Pete’s sake, wear business attire. Many attendees of the career fair show up with black skinny jeans and a nice conservative top on in hopes of getting their dream job/internship. I’m all about business casual attire but when you are about to make a first impression on an employee of a company you’re interested in, wear business attire. I’m talking pantsuit or blazer and pencil skirt (appropriate length, please!).

Being in The Wisconsin Business School is an honor at UW-Madison, an honor that comes with a lot of perks. I say why not let us all be as prepared for the working world as the business school students?!

About the Author

Marilu Hagen

Originally hailing from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, Marilu is currently a student the the University of Wisconsin-Madison and on track for graduating with a major in Communication Arts and minor in Integrated Liberal Studies. She is very excited to be one of the lucky summer 2013 interns for CGN and to gain experience as a marketing and public relations specialist for the company while bringing extra energy and positivity to the team. Her inspiration comes from powerful women working in the sports and entertainment industry and she has hopes to become one of these women herself as a sports agent or manager of team public relations. Marilu's favorite professional sport is ice hockey, having grown up with the Atlanta Thrashers, but her favorite sports team is the Atlanta Braves.