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Career Expo Today—Maybe a Job This Spring?

BU career center hopes to boost student attendance

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Thinking about a career in government? A job in finance or retail? A stint with a nonprofit? Mark your calendars. Today at least 95 employers hit campus for Career Expo, a once-a-semester event that University career counselors would like more students, and not just seniors, to take advantage of.

“We’re really working hard to get a lot more awareness about how valuable an experience this is, even if somebody’s a freshman,” says Eleanor Cartelli, associate director for marketing and communications with the Center for Career Development. That’s especially true since this semester’s employer turnout is the heaviest in at least 10 years, she says.

Among the employers who will be on hand are retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Aeropostale; financial companies like John Hancock Financial Services and Brown Brothers Harriman; government agencies, including the Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Secret Service; and nonprofits, among them City Year Boston, Catholic Charities, and MassVOTE.

Mingling with recruiters can plant possible career ideas for those uncertain about what they’d like to pursue, according to center director Kimberly DelGizzo, as well as lead to possible internships, which someday could produce a job offer. Last fall’s expo saw 700 students attending.

DelGizzo offers these tips for students who want to stand out rather than flame out today:

Bring a résumé
A one-page résumé is your calling card and sales pitch. If you don’t have a résumé, says DelGizzo, attend anyway. You can always email a fresh one to the recruiter later. You can get your résumé reviewed by Career Development without an appointment; check its website for hours.

Research the companies before you go
From the list provided on the Career Development website, determine which companies you’d like to learn more about. Start your research with the company’s website. When approaching the recruiter, your first question should never be, “So, what do you guys do?” Google, find out, and then…

Prepare an introduction and good questions
Often the first thing a recruiter says is, “Tell me about yourself.” Think about what you want to say, including such basics as name, major, a brief description of your experience, and what you hope to do for work. You should also think of questions that show you understand what the company does, DelGizzo says. Ask the recruiter what skills they’re seeking and for details on specific jobs or internships available.

Dress appropriately
Don’t show up to the Career Expo sweaty from FitRec. DelGizzo recommends looking professional—business casual or a suit, especially for seniors. But don’t let your attire dissuade you from attending: if you must come straight from class in your jeans, stop by anyway.

Good manners are essential
Turn off your cell phone. Introduce yourself, look that recruiter in the eye, smile, and offer a firm handshake.

But don’t mention…
The Career Expo is not the time to bring up questions about salary and vacation, says DelGizzo.

Practice first
Before you head to one of your top five choices, visit another table so you can practice and warm up.

Bring friends
Roommates, floor mates, classmates, teammates, study partners, whomever. Career Development has boosted its staff to provide more services to students.

Follow up
Collect business cards so you can follow up. Be sure to bring a notepad; jot down notes about a company and what you and the recruiter discussed. If an employer tells you to get in touch, do it sooner rather than later.

“Conversations that start at the Career Expo can lead to an internship or a career,” says DelGizzo. “But not if students don’t attend.”

The Spring Career Expo runs today, February 16, from noon to 3:30 p.m. in the Metcalf Ballroom, second floor, George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave.

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu. Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

5 Comments

5 Comments on Career Expo Today—Maybe a Job This Spring?

  • Anonymous on 02.16.2011 at 7:50 am

    Don’t work for MassVOTE. It’s a complete waste of time, they don’t pay, and you’ll mostly be moving office furniture around/going to staples.

  • Anonymous on 02.16.2011 at 10:07 am

    Why would you post this the day OF the career expo and not BEFORE so students have time to plan?

  • Anonymous on 02.16.2011 at 11:13 am

    MassVOTE

    Yeah… if by “policy research,” and “grassroots organizing” they mean clerical work and menial labor.

  • Only 95? on 02.16.2011 at 1:15 pm

    Only 95?

    How is 95 the most employers in the past ten years? The Center for Community Service has had more than that every year with the Idealist fair. I’ve hosted a table at the last five of those events, including the one last week, but still haven’t been invited by the Center for Career Development to host at their events.

  • Bernadette on 02.16.2011 at 3:12 pm

    What are other resources for finding jobs and opportunities after graduation? What about people who want to move to San Francisco? It feels as if people go to school, build their networks with people they meet at college, and then land jobs through those networks usually in their college’s region. Of course there’s going to be a focus on jobs in the cities near the college. Looking through discussion threads such as http://www.resetsanfrancisco.org/, it’s interesting to see that people who live in San Francisco are having a hard time finding jobs in their own city. What more for people who are moving across the country and don’t have networks already in place there?

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