Students dawned their best interviewing clothes and braved the cold temperatures combined with strong winds on Tuesday, Feb. 26, to make it to the Spring Career and Internship Fair at the Whittemore Center.
From 1 to 5 p.m., students could walk around with resumes in hand and meet potential employers in many different kinds of fields such as law enforcement, education, healthcare, entertainment, social services, biotechnology, life sciences, insurance and human resources.
While the tables were arranged alphabetically throughout the Whitt, students were given maps and lists of the businesses and non-profits present separated by college. As soon as students walked in they had to swipe their UNH ID card to get a name tag with their name, major and year of graduation printed on it. The name tags were also color-coded by college so employers could see the types of schools prospective employees were in.
There was also a LinkedIn photo booth right at the entrance where students could get a free professional headshot taken for their LinkedIn or Handshake profiles.
Before students even spoke to employers, however, they had an opportunity to freshen up in the “Student Prep Area.” This included hand sanitizer, pens, mints, lint rollers and tissues for students to take. Many students took this opportunity to look over their resumes one more time, grab a mint and head into the Whitt feeling their best.
Almost all of the companies that were at the event also had free things to give to students such as fidget spinners, pens, water bottles, candy and stress balls.
“It can be nerve-wracking but after you talk to the first table it gets easier,” senior Elizabeth Muldrow said.
“Everyone has to go through this,” senior Carly Hokanson said. “Just research the companies, be yourself and ask questions.”
Employers such as Samantha Walsh from Consumer Focus, Peter Babonis from Triumvirate Environmental, Caroline Consoli from the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester and Angela Felde from E2i all agreed that students researching and learning about their company before coming to the event was something that helped students stand out.
“It’s so much better than a student coming up to the table and asking us what we do. It’s also helpful to us when students have a better idea of what they want,” Babonis said.
Even if students went to tables they knew little or nothing about, they were offered help to get in the right direction. Debra Lacey of Home Health & Hospice Care said that she wasn’t getting much foot traffic, and many students that stopped by didn’t fit what she needed, but she was happy to point out other tables at the event that were closer to students’, and employers’, needs.
Another important trait employers looked for is a well-rounded student.
“We don’t like it when you say ‘school was my job,’” Felde said. “We want to know about internships, electives, hands-on experience. Any work experience, even if you worked at a grocery store or you were a server, tells us that you’ve had a boss before and that you know how to work with other people.”
Career and Professional Success also offers Career Express drop-in hours on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1-3 p.m. in Hewitt 217B for CHHS students, McConnell 188 for COLA students, Kingsbury W389 for CEPS students, Rudman G11 for COLSA students and Paul 104 for PCBE students.