Binghamton University students donned their best business wear and armed themselves with freshly formatted resumes and well-rehearsed elevator pitches for the Job and Internship Fair at the Events Center Thursday.
Representatives from about 90 different companies spoke to students about internships and full-time job opportunities.
The Career Development Center offered workshops all day Wednesday, catered explicitly toward the Job and Internship Fair, on resume writing, what to say and how to make employers want to hire you.
“These workshops are essential — nobody writes resumes or markets themselves successfully without learning; you have to develop it,” said Eileen Bauer-Hagerbaumer, assistant director of employer relations at the Career Development Center. “Look at these lines, you can see that they aren’t going to be spending 15 minutes talking to each person, so you want to make sure you say the right things, and you must be prepared to do that.”
Students lined up in hopes of talking to representatives from the various companies in attendance.
“Here at Target we are looking for people from all majors and backgrounds, the only thing that truly matters to us is how well you work and motivate your team,” one Target representative said. “I always ask hard-hitting questions like ‘What is your ultimate career goal?’ and ‘Why Target and not others?’ so it is crucial to do research about the company beforehand because if the responses aren’t deep, then you will not get in.”
While some companies were looking for students in specific majors, others had no preference.
“About 35 percent of the employers that are here are looking for any major, they are not targeting just those in technical or business fields,” Bauer-Hagerbaumer said. “We also have communication, we have health care, we have education, we have service industries and of course we also have those organizations looking for technical and business backgrounds.”
Attendees of the event ranged from curious freshmen to seasoned, job-seeking graduate students.
“I am going to the job fair today just to see what it actually is, to become familiar with the set-up and experience,” said Unpyol Han, a freshman majoring in accounting. “I don’t even have a resume.”
Andrew Williamson, a first-year graduate student studying marketing, said that he got more out of the fair this year than when he was younger and less experienced.
“I came around my freshman year and had no idea what I was doing, I was completely lost, but now I have a few companies that I have researched and I think would be a good fit for me,” Williamson said. “My parents said I can’t live in their house forever, I’m mostly looking into accounting and consulting firms.”
Zal Mirza, a senior majoring in industrial systems engineering, got an internship at Amphenol Aerospace Operations due to the Job and Internship Fair last semester and went back in search of a full-time job.
Through all the nerves, sweaty palms and awkward smiles, Mitchell Ostrow, a representative for Margolin, Winer & Evens LLP, recommended students relax.
“The only advice I really have to give is just to be yourself,” Ostrow said. “Know what you want to be looking for and know what you want out of the company you work for, then we can decide if we think you’re a good fit too.”