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Career Fair a Joke

Chris Masoud | Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So the Career Fair is today. Great. I’ve received 12 e-mails and read 15 posters letting me know that my best opportunity to get an internship is a 4-hour event in the Joyce Center. Now all I have to do is update my resume, show up, and I’ll be spending the summer in a cubicle making little to no money for “work experience.” Sweet.

If you’ve never been to the famous career fair before, allow me to show you the really fine print that the recruiters from the Big Four and every other company that shows up doesn’t want you to read.

The career fair is a joke. Everybody dresses up in monkey suits and classy outfits like they’re getting ready for an interview with Steve Jobs himself. And if you don’t dress up you look like you go to some junior college down the road.

Next, the real premise of the career fair is to make students walk around the Joyce Center in a complete circuit with a stack of resumes in hand in the hopes that they talk to recruiters.

The first lap is basically a warmup. It allows you to get a sense of the pointlessness of why you’re there, how many people got duped into coming, and what you could be doing on a Wednesday afternoon if you weren’t there.

The second lap is different. Now you really have to stick your neck out there and find the recruiter who looks underdressed compared to everybody else (my initial prediction is Under Armour).

Here comes the best part of the entire career fair. After you’ve found that special someone, the career fair suggests that you will introduce yourself to the recruiter, hand him or her your interview, and receive a notification of an internship later in the month.

But this is what really happens, the abridged version. You stand in line for about 10 minutes at a time for most stations, at least 15 for Under Armour (for some reason people think that because we go to ND Under Armour owes us internships or something). When it’s your turn you walk up to the recruiter, you tell him your name, tell him your grade, and then shoot the breeze for about 2-3 minutes about why you always liked this company, or why you’re so qualified.

But the recruiter probably stopped listening after you told him you were a freshman, sophomore, or junior. The only thing they really care about is whether you’ve reached senior status or not.

So if you’re planning on going to the career fair today, just do me a favor. Instead of putting your name on the sticker, just put your grade and stick it to the top of your forehead. Trust me, it will save you 2-3 minutes of conversation you won’t remember the next day. Guaranteed.