Career Fair Week… “It was the best of times, It was the worst of times.” Seniors and Freshmen alike get the same stomach full of butterflies and feelings of hopefulness when they walk through the doors of the BJC during Fall Career Days. Whether you are looking for an internship or a full-time job, it does not make you any less nervous or excited about the hundreds of companies and recruiters that lie in wait.
What many people seem to lose in all the hustle and bustle of career fairs is that recruitment is a two-way street. The same amount of time and research that recruiters put into you, should be put into a self-made analysis of the company and how they fulfill your own criteria. Yes, it is nice to have an internship or full-time job locked down first semester, but make sure you are taking the time to look into the values of the company and make sure they are handing out good experiences, not just paychecks.
One of the easiest ways to see if a company’s values are similar to yours is by looking at the company’s website and the job/internship’s description. Corporate websites usually have a whole page dedicated to their mission and the specific values they exemplify. If you are looking for a company that prioritizes a good work-life balance or is always looking to mold leadership within the company, look for those keywords in their credos and mission statements. Another one of the easiest ways to make sure a company fits your values is by talking to the actual employees and recruiters. They are at career fairs because they were in your shoes once and now not only do they work for the specific company, but they are promoting it. Who better to explain that a corporation really respects family time or cares about your personal progression through the company than the people who actually work there. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Even if your time with a business is only for a summer, a year, or the next 25 years, you deserve to have the best experience.