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Preparing for Success: Career Opportunity Fair

DSC04600The Career Opportunity Fair, hosted by the Graduate Business Career Services Department, will provide direct access to over 40 top employers for undergraduate and graduate level business students at the University of St. Thomas.  These top recruiters are seeking top talent from UST for internship and full time positions.  Tom Colosimo, Career Coach Specialist, details the best way to ace any Career Fair, but most importantly the Career Opportunity Fair, held next week in the Law School Schulze Grand Atrium on Friday, November 15th.

Prepping for a career fair can be nerve-racking and frustrating but it certainly does not need to be and it is very important.  If you go into a career fair prepared and with the right attitude information you should do well.  It’s all about knowing what you want, what they need, and creating your story to align to these variables. Many people go into a career fair with little or no preparation and come out thinking it was a waste of time.

The key elements to remember are:

Know what companies are going to be participating in the fair

  • Know the companies that you are most interested in; focus on your top 5
  • Research these companies – know their current activities and products
  • Know what initiatives they may have for the future
  • Get a handle on how your skills and experience align to their needs

 

Appearance is important for your brand and for that first impression

  • Be sure to have the ‘look of business’ that means business
  • Suite and tie for men and a nice dress suite for women
  • Error on the side of dressing conservatively; no wild colors or short skirts!
  • Do not overdo the colognes and perfumes; a nice scent is welcome but don’t overpower your environment and chase people away from you!
  • Smile!  It can mean so much when meeting people
  • Be genuine from hand-shake to tone of your voice
  • Practice your pitch so that it’s natural when you are delivering it to the recruiters

When you arrive at the fair, survey the flow of the attendees and be sure to identify where your companies are located right away. DSC04603

Start out by approaching companies that you may not know that much about and try your pitch on them to work out the kinks and get into your groove.  Do not approach your top companies right away since you may not be at ease yet.  Practice makes perfect.

If you get the business card of the recruiter or company contact, connect with them and thank them for the time they took to chat with you reminding them about your skills and interest in their company and WHY! Reach out on LinkedIn for that connection as well.  Many recruiters spend much of their time on social media looking for that next candidate.  With that in mind, make sure your LinkedIn profile sends the right message about your focus to solidify your brand.

 

Have fun with it.  Be yourself and be on your game!

To register for the Career Opportunity Fair, click here.

Career Services, FTMBA, Newsroom

Career Fair Prep 101

By Dan Jackson, MBA ’12

Fall is upon us, and MBA students across the country are already putting in long, hard hours of studying to obtain the best grades so that they will be able to get their ideal job upon graduation.  But with all of the studying and other activities that surround MBA life, it can be difficult to focus on what activities an MBA student needs to do to land that dream position.  As a student, what do you do to ensure employers that you are truly the best candidate?  MBA students should be putting an equal amount of time into their career search as they are into their academic studies.

There are many opportunities to get in front of recruiters from some of the top companies around the country.  The National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) and the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) host  annual conferences with major career fairs — open to all MBA students — at their that allow you to get in front of a variety of companies.

In preparation for the upcoming National Black MBA Association Conference, we are hosting a Twitter chat today at noon with Minnesota Boulevard, a collection of top MN employers seeking diverse talent for their businesses. You can join in by following #MNBlvdChat.

Black MBA magazine has highlighted 10 ways to make a trip to the Career Expo a success (PDF).  The article is filled with excellent points for attendees of the conference, but also contains relevant information for any student planning to attend a career fair.  I have expanded on two points from the article that I feel should not be missed and can be completed by a student at any time during the academic year. Continue Reading

Career Services, EveningMBA, FTMBA, Local business, Newsroom

Signs of economic turnaround nationally, locally, on campus

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Today, the Associated Press reported that unemployment rates fell or remained level in three-quarters of the 372 largest metropolitan areas, a sign that the economic recovery is widespread.

Locally, the Star Tribune noted that “most of Minnesota’s biggest companies feel confident that 2010 will be better.” and MinnPost reported that “The metro area saw its unemployment rate drop six tenths of a percentage point from 7.4 percent in March 2009 to 6.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted) in March 2010.”

And on campus, students in the UST MBA program have seen first-hand that there are jobs available out there. On April 9, more than Continue Reading