As students prepare for life after graduation, some may find themselves frantically searching for a full-time job while others are getting ready for graduate school. To assist students in their future endeavors, the UC Irvine Career Center will be hosting its last Career Fair of the quarter on April 21 on Ring Road.
This year, about 100 employers will be present to answer questions, collect resumes and talk to students about potential career opportunities.
According to Career Center Counselor Yas Djadali, this quarter’s Career Fair is for students who are looking for a job.
‘Prepare, prepare, prepare,’ Djadali said, referring to the importance of interacting and networking with employers. ‘The Career Fair is a great opportunity for students to network with many employers at once. The more students prepare, the more productive they will be at the fair.’
Djadali highlighted some tips for students to take into consideration while making their rounds on Ring Road.
The first tip Djadali suggests is to be prepared with the proper materials, such as a resume, which can be critiqued at the Career Center.
Although the sunny weather prompts many students to wear jeans and short-sleeved shirts, dressing in business attire is more appropriate for interacting with professional recruiters.
Besides being able to look good, one must be able to communicate well. Before perusing the employers’ booths, Djadali also suggested that students do a little research on the companies they are interested in.
‘[Students should] prepare and practice a 30-second introduction they can use when meeting recruiters,’ Djadali said. ‘This may include your career objective, relevant qualifications, and interest in the employer.’
Lastly, Djadali suggests that taking an employer’s business card ‘shows initiative and interest.’
While some students may already have good jobs, others may find themselves lacking substantial work experience in their field.
Djadali suggests that the best way to obtain a job from an internship at a company a student is interested in is by working hard.
‘Once you have the internship, you want to make a good impression by demonstrating initiative, producing quality work and showing genuine interest in the company,’ Djadali said. ‘Find a mentor who can provide you with career advice and serve as a networking contact.’
Besides trying to secure employment by talking to the recruiter alone, Djadali encourages students to have an ‘information interview’ with someone at their company of interest.
‘An informational interview is an opportunity for you to ask questions and gain advice from someone working in your field of interest,’ Djadali said. ‘It is also a great networking tool because if you make a favorable impression, the person is more likely to help you and refer you to additional contacts.’
The Career Center also offers informational sessions entitled ‘Meet the Recruiter’ several times each quarter, allowing students the opportunity to attend meetings where recruiters share information about their company.
‘By attending one of these sessions, you can learn more about a particular company and increase your contact with the recruiter,’ Djadali said.
While not all of the advice from Djadali may apply to all students, she has some suggestions for those planning to attend graduate school.
‘Graduate school is a great option if it fits in with your long-term career goal or if it is needed to work or advance in your field of interest,’ Djadali said.
If a student needs help with the decision of going to graduate school, Djadali encourages students to speak with a career counselor or attend one of the workshops called ‘Selecting and Applying to Graduate School.’
Although many employers will be present at the Career Fair, some students like fourth-year international studies major Anant Sanchetee want to see bigger companies present and for company representatives to be more helpful in students’ job search.
‘It would be nice to see these companies doing resume critiquing instead of just people from the Career Center,’ Sanchetee said.