Making the Most Out of the Wasserman Fall Career Fairs

Arrion Azimi is a senior at NYU studying History and Politics, with a minor in Economics. In the past he has interned at Accenture, NYC Department of Education, the Mayor’s Office of San Francisco, and Peer Health Exchange. He currently serves as a College Leader in CAS, a Wasserman Career Ambassador, and as a Community Student Leader for Google. You can reach him at arrionazimi@nyu.edu.

The NYU Wasserman Fall Career Fairs are an awesome way to become acquainted with the work and people of an organization, and explore your career interests. However, sometimes it can be difficult to navigate this vast event. Here are a few tips, taken from what I have done and have not do in the past:

Tip #1: Do your homework and prepare for success.

Prior to the fairs, the Wasserman Center will publish a list of all the organizations attending and their booth locations. You can also get info on companies, floor plans, and event details on the Career Fair Plus app (Android and Apple). Browse this list for companies and organizations that interest you, and do your homework. Go to the company website and find out about their industry, what services they offer, and what sets them apart from other organizations. That way, you can avoid having surface-level conversations with recruiters and dive into learning more about specific aspects of the organization and its work. Recruiters will be impressed by your prior knowledge, and you will make more out of your limited time with them.

When you go to talk to recruiters, have an “Elevator Pitch” ready; since time-is-of-the-essence, you should be able to effectively communicate who you are and what you want to know. You’ll appear informed and confident to the recruiter, which can set you apart from the dozens of other students. There are five simple questions to answer in an Elevator Pitch:

  1. Who are you? What do you do?

  2. What problem do you solve?

  3. How are you different?

  4. Why should they care?

  5. What are you looking for?

Here’s an example:

(1) Good afternoon, my name is Arrion, and I’m a senior studying History and Politics. (2) I have heard about your internship program, and I would love to learn more because I believe I’d be a great fit for this company. (3 & 4) In my academic program, I consider viewpoints from different sources and put them together in one consistent argument, and I believe that this skill is vital for the client work that the company does. (5) I hope to break into this industry and gain core business experience, and I would love to learn more about this internship program and how to apply.

With your Elevator Pitch in pocket, you’ll be able to have informative, productive conversations with any employer.

Geography matters too, since the fairs will be crowded and hectic, so map out an itinerary depending on where booths are located so you can meet with all the companies you would like to. Also, make sure that professional wear—your suit, dress, or shirt/bottom combo—is clean and fits well. Now is the time to take your clothes to the tailor and dry cleaner, or get new clothes, if need be. And it goes without saying, but bring copies of your resume!

Tip #2: Know that being a little intimidated is natural.

An apt name for a career fair could be “career circus”, because career fairs can definitely be noisy, frenetic, and occasionally overwhelming. There will be hundreds of other students like you exploring their options and vying for the opportunity to talk to the same professionals. Attending a career fair can intimidating, but this intimidation is completely natural. Have confidence in yourself and your pitch, and if you’re nervous, act confident. You know what they say: “fake it ‘till you make it!”

Career fairs are not high stakes like interviews or company superdays; you’re there to meet and interact with people from different companies, and to get a vibe of the place they work and the work they do. To draw an analogy, consider it “speed dating” more than general “dating”; you meet people, learn things, and develop interests to pursue in the future. Which leads us to our last tip…

Tip #3: Don’t expect to walk out with a job or interview; the career fair is the first step!

Consider career fairs one of the first steps in the journey of professional pathways; it gets you further ahead, but it won’t give you your dream job. You can perfect your elevator pitch and build an impressive resume to hand out, but attending a career fair does not typically directly lead to the interview or the position you’re seeking. To continue this journey, utilize the numerous other resources and events from Wasserman.

If you discover a cool company at the fair, attend their Employer Info Session at Wasserman to learn more about their work, their culture, and their internship and job opportunities. At these info sessions, you can speak candidly with professionals about where they work and what they do, in a much more intimate setting. From there you can conduct additional research, connect with professionals to grab a coffee and chat more, and become more well-informed—all of which boosts the pedigree of your application for that job or internship.

In short, come to the Fall 2015 Job & Internship Fair and the Engineering and Technology Career Fair with knowledge about the companies and industries you’re interested in, an “elevator pitch” in hand, and the reassuring knowledge that a career fair is only the first step in the journey to landing that dream job or internship.

For more information about the Fall 2015 Career Fairs, see below:

**PRE-REGISTER IN PERSON THIS YEAR**

Waiting in line for the Career Fairs is now over with pre-registration! Pick up your lanyard and badge at either Wasserman Manhattan or Brooklyn locations. This will get you into BOTH Fall Career Fairs. Update your NYU CareerNet profile to make sure your badge prints correctly. Get info on companies, floor plans, & event details on the Career Fair Plus app (Android and Apple).

Fall Job & Internship Fair
Thursday, September 10, 2015 11am-3pm | NYU Kimmel Center

Meet employers hiring for summer internships and full-time positions in various industries! Check out career fair details and pre-registration locations/times here.

Engineering & Technology Fall Career Fair – NOW TWO DAYS!
Thursday, September 17 & Friday, September 18, 2015 11am – 3pm | NYU Brooklyn Campus, Jacobs Gymnasium

Explore full-time, part-time, and internship opportunities in fields like engineering, computer hardware/software, technology, science, management, digital media, etc. Check out career fair details and pre-registration locations/times here.