At the start of the fall semester, every Fisher College of Business student knows that it’s coming: the Fisher Fall Career Fair. And although this year’s career fair already finished (it took place on September 6th in the Union), I’m hoping that my experiences and takeaways can prepare you for when you next attend the career fair.
First, full disclosure, I am not a recruiter for a large firm or company, so this isn’t a detailed description of what companies are looking for in job candidates. This post is just a compilation of what I did to prepare and face this event head-on.
The view of the Fisher Fall Career Fair in the Archie Griffin Ballroom.
If you are a freshman or sophomore, please do not be discouraged if recruiters do not seem as interested in you as an applicant for internships this upcoming summer! Most companies hope to hire summer interns into full time workers, so their main focus is talking to juniors and seniors. As a sophomore myself, I plan on taking all the pamphlets that include programs that are geared for upperclassmen and keeping them in a safe place so that when summer begins next May, I can take a deeper look at these programs and the companies they are associated with! This way, I can be better prepared to speak to recruiters about these specific opportunities at the next fall career fair!
I would highly recommend being QUIC certified by the end of your first year! QUIC stands for Qualified Undergraduate Interview Candidate program, and is required to be completed before you can be involved in on-campus interviews. Usually, when companies come to Ohio State to recruit, it’s easiest for them to hold on-campus interviews than to schedule them externally. If you aren’t QUIC certified, you will not have the opportunity to speak to recruiters on campus following the career fair. For more information related to QUIC: https://fisher.osu.edu/careers-recruiting/students/undergraduate-students/become-quic
Go to the Office of Career Management to get your resume checked by a Peer Career Check. At the beginning of the year, they have walk-in hours where you can meet with an upperclassmen to get your resume reviewed! This service is very helpful since you will get advice on how to tweak your resume to perfection just in time for the career fair! The link to Fisher’s career resources: https://fisher.osu.edu/careers-recruiting/students/undergraduate-students
Two weeks before the career fair, make sure you download the career fair app on your phone! On the App Store and Google Play store, the best way to find it is typing “OSU Career Fair Plus” in the search bar. This app is an actual blessing when it comes to navigating your way throughout the Union. There’s a feature that allows you to filter the list of 170+ companies that offer programs tailored to your situation! If you’re a freshman or sophomore, there’s a box for that. Want to look for companies that have internships in marketing or logistics? Check. Are you hoping to narrow your search down even farther by looking at companies that have next day interviews? The app’s gotcha covered.
Another cool feature about the application is that any company you mark as a favorite will show up on the map page. For example, after expressing interest in L Brands, you can easily locate that the booth is in the Archie Griffin Ballroom, right between Old Navy and Abercrombie and Fitch. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with all of the booths, students, and recruiters all together in one room. But by knowing how to get exactly where you want to go, you can stay focused and level-headed when you reach the company you’d like to talk to!
Overall, I think attending the Fisher Fall Career Fair is the best way to gain exposure and learn how to speak to recruiters, building your confidence throughout your first two years, so that you are completely prepped to face them when it really counts: as a third or fourth year.