Career Fair aims to give students experience interviewing, help searching for employment

JCPenney representatives (center) Molly Clope and (right) Brittany Merritt talk to junior Lisa Rosenthal about an internship opportunity during the fall 2014 career fair. 

Vada Shelby, News Contributor

Students will be given the chance to practice interview skills with real employers throughout this week, leading up to and following the Spring Term Career Fair.

The Fair, hosted by the Oregon State Career Development Center, aims to help students become more confident in their resumes and self-presentation when applying for summer jobs and internships. There will be mock interview preparatory sessions on Tuesday, signups for which can be found on the CDS website, and the Fair itself will be held on Wednesday.

At the speed mock interviewing event, led by real employers to help students prepare for the Career Fair, interviews will last from 1-4 p.m. in the Career Development Center. Specific details can be found on Handshake or through the Career Development Center’s website.

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During the mock interview session, each student will be interviewed twice by employers and given feedback on how they presented themselves. According to Allison, there are mock interviews before each Career Fair every term, and the sign-up and location information can be found on the CDC’s website through Handshake.

“One of the most dreaded questions in an interview is ‘What questions do you have for us?’ and these mock interviews really help students work through that.” Allison said.

The fair, on Wednesday, will be located in the CH2M Hill Alumni Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In the past, an average of around 600 students have shown up to the Career Fair.

Students are encouraged to bring multiple copies of resumes with them to the Career Fair, since there will be employers seeking interns and full-time employees at the fair. According to CDC Event Coordinator Valerie Ferguson, students can come and go as they please, and each student will be given a booklet with information on what employers are there and what they are looking for. Information on who will be at the Career Fair can also be found ahead of time on the CDC’s website through Handshake.

“In the past I’ve heard students say ‘Oh, I didn’t realize I needed to bring so many resumes with me,’” Ferguson said. “About 10 or 15 resumes is probably a good number to go with. And having a greeting planned out so you know how you want to market yourself to these employers is very important.”

Some of the employers there will be handing out special interview cards with appointment times to hold interviews the following day, on April 25. According to Ferguson, only about 11 of the 101 employers will be doing this, but many of the other employers will be offering interview times during their meetings at the Career Fair, even if they aren’t for the following day. The 11 employers who hand out interview cards will be staying on campus, so travelling to the interviews won’t be an issue for the students selected.

The Career Fair has been continuously growing in size for the past five years, and there are many things that set the Spring Term fair apart from the others at OSU, according to CDC External Relations Manager, Wendy Allison.

“The fairs we hold in Fall and Winter are more specific, but the Spring Fair has a great combination of employers of all fields,” Allison said. “It’s very well-rounded in structure, and provides a great chance to look for internships and future employment opportunities if students haven’t started looking for summer jobs yet.”

Some of the companies attending the Career Fair this term are Bosch, Kohls, Starbucks, and multiple Police Bureaus. Nikon and CyberLock are some of this term’s Career Fair sponsors, as well.