As many seniors are starting to think about what they want to do after leaving the University of Wisconsin, the Career and Internship Fair is set for this Thursday and will bring even more organizations than last fall’s event.
According to a statement, there will be more than 275 organizations, which is at least 26 more than last fall. The event will be held from 4:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Kohl Center.
“UW-Madison career services units are excited about the number of companies coming to the fall Career and Internship Fair,” Maria McGinnis, one of the organizers of the event and associate student services coordinator at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, said. “This is the largest one-day fair ever at UW-Madison.”
Companies pay the university to attend the fair, McGinnis said. Corporate companies pay $550, government agencies pay $300 and non-profit organizations pay $100, she said.
It is of tremendous value to companies that attend the fair, she said. Instead of traveling to various places for a broad range of needs, they can recruit students from all majors in one place, she added.
“It is an investment on their [the companies] part because they are able to talk to so many students from a wide variety of majors,” she said.
McGinnis said it is hard to put statistics on how many students get a position after attending the fair. She said this is difficult to measure because attending may lead to a gaining a position down the road, she added.
UW graduate Jed Becker called his experience at the Spring Career Fair last February “eye opening.” In an email to The Badger Herald, Becker said he hoped to find something that would lead him towards a job, but didn’t expect to find the position he is currently in.
Becker is currently a district sales manager for a weather insurance company. He manages the northern half of South Dakota and is currently recruiting insurance agents to sell their product and get them signed up for training.
“I will be assisting in the training process as well as being the primary contact for any questions or concerns they may have throughout the selling season,” he said.
Becker said many companies were still looking for interns and full time employees when he attended the fair.
“Some advice I would give to students going to the fair is be prepared — go to the resume prep sessions, talk to your career services advisor and develop a game plan,” he said. “And be prepared to look outside your immediate or desired profession for work experience.”
Becker said he urges all students to go, even if they are unsure about the fair. He said he attended two to three career fairs and got more confident with each one.
Becker said he even started to build relationships with some of the recruiters because he saw them there multiple times.
“I do not think I would have gotten this job without attending the career fair because nothing can replace the face to face conversation you have with another human being,” he said. “Even right now in my job I would prefer to meet the person at least once before working with them.”
UW student Jacqueline Carville landed her internship at DNASTAR after attending a career and internship fair. In an email with The Badger Herald, Carville said her first experience was a little intimidating, but the more she went to them, the easier they became.
According to Carville, DNASTAR is a software company producing products for DNA and protein sequence analysis.
Carville stressed the importance of looking presentable for the companies and having enough up to date resumes.
“Go into the job fair with a prioritized list of businesses you would like to talk to, as you won’t be able to talk to everyone,” she said.
Carville said her internship has given her an opportunity to build her portfolio, practice her marketing skills and broaden her insight of the different facets the biotech industry has to offer.