Navigating the Fall 2018 Moody Job and Internship Fair
What to Expect and How to Prepare
The annual Moody Communication Job and Internship Fair will be returning to our campus at Darrell K. Royal Stadium on September 26th. The fair is an indispensable opportunity to connect with a range of 75-80 employers who are interested in hiring Moody College students, but it’s important to be properly prepared if you want to make the most of it.
Fortunately, Moody College offers many tools and tips to help. First, you should definitely visit the fair webpage. There, you will find plenty of helpful information, such as proper dress code and even how you can attend workshops to practice your pitching strategies. And of course, it’s always a good idea to dust off your resume with one of the Moody career advisors. In case you don’t have time for advising appointments or workshops, we sat down with our very own Lisa Dobias to develop this list of top five strategies and tips for navigating the fair.
1. What to Expect: Around 75 booths and tables will be cramped into several rows in the eighth floor lounge of DKR, with hundreds of students making their way from table to table. There will be a station to hold any bags or jackets you don’t want to carry around, but make sure you have plenty of copies of your resume on hand. Some companies will have a large booth with displays and a slot to drop off your resume, while others will simply have a table with one representative. It will be crowded and confusing, so it’s important to have a plan.
2. Research the Companies and Make a Roadmap: As we get closer to the fair, the UTCCS mobile app will release a list of attending employers, company profiles, and an interactive map of the floor. The list should also include who the companies are looking to hire—graduates or undergraduates, interns or entry level applicants. Decide which companies interest you the most and make a roadmap of who you plan on talking to. Make sure you allot plenty of time because some companies will have longer lines than others.
3. Know What You Want to Say and How You Want to Say It: It doesn’t have to be awkward when you approach a recruiter. Read your audience. Some of them will start asking you questions, while others will wait for you to talk first. This is where your elevator pitch comes into play. If you’re not confident with your pitch, consider attending one of the pitching strategy workshops mentioned above. If you get stuck and don’t know what else to say, ask the recruiter what advice they have for you in terms of getting involved with that company. This is a foolproof way to show that you are serious about the company, and it might make you stand out.
4. Follow Up: Your goal should be to make a lasting impression on the recruiter, and reconnecting within 24 hours of your interaction with them is a great way to reinforce your name. You will likely talk to many recruiters at the fair, so make sure you always ask for a business card before you leave, and consider jotting down a few details about your conversation on the back. That way, when you thank them in an email later, you know exactly what you talked to them about and can prompt their memory with personal detail. Finally, don’t forget to connect with them on LinkedIn. It gives them one more reason to read your name and see your face.
5. Be Flexible: Make sure you have a backup plan in case the companies you want to talk to have mile-long lines. Rather than waste all of your time in line, see if you can drop off your resume and check back later. While a personal interaction with a recruiter is ideal, students have been called and interviewed after simply leaving their resume in the past. You never know!
The prospect of presenting yourself to potential employers is always intimidating, but these tools, along with those provided by Moody College, should prepare you for success. Remember, you attend one of the best communications schools in the nation, and these companies know that.