Life After Career Fair

By Sally Phelps, PGP Director

Wordle: Olin College Career Fair

Exciting times!

There has been a flurry of recruiting activity here at Olin during the past two weeks. The Fall Career Fair Oct 9th was a huge success with 43 companies attending.   Then the Foundry hosted yet another fabulous 'Meet the Startups' Fair the following Wednesday, bringing an additional 34 employers to campus.

Now that these events are over, you may be wondering - OK now what do I do?  Here are a few tips to keep you moving forward in the recruiting process.

  • Follow up with the companies that you were most interested in from both fairs.   First step is always to apply online (especially to the bigger companies that have an online application system).  Apply to any jobs or internships that look appealing and appropriate.  Keep yourself organized - create a spreadsheet or tracking system for what positions you applied to, and when. 
  • Have you ever heard me say apply to each job twice?  This is what I mean - now that you've applied on-line,  follow up with a person that works in or has a connection to that company.  It could be a recruiter you met at the fair, a contact of PGP's, a family friend or relative - ANYONE who can call attention to the resume you just submitted to their database.  Go find that stack of business cards that just may be sitting in a drawer, purse, or the pocket of your crumpled suit on the floor!   Compose a quick email to the recruiter or person you know at the companies you've applied to, and attach a copy of your resume. The email should be brief but let the person know you are definitely interested in their company.


For example: "Hello Mary, It was great meeting you at the Olin Career Fair last week. I was the one who talked to you about ABC.  I really enjoyed learning about all the great new products TNT is developing and would love the opportunity to further discuss the  internship program that you have available for Summer 2014. I have applied on your website to these requisitions - list them by name or by number - and am also attaching a current version of my resume. I can best be reached by email or cell on Tuesdays after 3 PM, and I I look forward to hearing from you soon! "



  • If you didn't get to all the tables at the fair, can't remember someone you spoke with or if you missed a company you wanted to meet, email Suzanne and she will do her best to send you a contact.
  •  Set goals for yourself.  Put time aside to work on this as if it were a weekly class assignment.    Maybe you decide you'll devote 2 hours a week to your job search.  Or that you'll apply to 6-10 companies before the winter break.  Make it actionable, and measurable. 
  • Anticipating an interview or already have one scheduled? Plan to meet with Sally for a Mock Interview. Upcoming dates and times available: Wed, October 23rd  7:30-9 am or Tues, Oct 29th 12:30-2 pm. If those times don't work for you, contact Sally directly and she'll arrange another time to meet with you . Interviews will be 45 minutes, send your top two time slots (on the hour) to Suzanne.
  • Still not getting any interviews or interested in companies who weren't at our career fairs?  Make a list of your 'dream' employers and ask PGP if they have any contacts there.
  • Interested in doing an internship near home next summer?  Network with family and friends while you're home for Thanksgiving Break. You might be surprised to find out that Aunt Martha knows a person who works at your absolute favorite company. Once Aunt Martha connects you to her contact ask for an informational interview. An informational interview is a way for you to learn more about a company. You should still dress like you are going for an actual interview and bring along your resume. Not only will you learn more about the company but you will also make a great first impression and that contact will remember you when a job comes up. To learn more about the informational interview,  click here.
  • Thinking about research for next summer? Talk to your professors and come to PGP's REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) Party later this semester.  Start to get familiar with the National Science Foundation which funds so many REU's each year - you can find their site here.   
  • Log into the Olin JobFinder often. New jobs are being posted every day!
  • Set a goal of having at least 1 interview before the winter break. Get in the game!

*TIP OF THE DAY*  Don't stop talking to people!  As mentioned earlier, get informational interviews whenever you can and ask people about their company, their jobs and their career paths.  You will learn so much by doing this.  You never know who you might get connected to, or what you may learn from a meeting like this.

Most importantly, keep a master list of all of the professionals you have met along the way, and follow up with them 1-2x a year and let them know how you're doing.  People who are good at this never need to look for a job, their contacts are always thinking of them and sending along job leads!   But they can't do this unless they hear from you regularly, and find out what you've been up to and what you want to do next. 

Think of the job finding process as a journey.  You may not get the first job you apply to but if you make a good impression you will have a made a good contact for the future. And remember, any time you want to talk over tactics, strategy or your future, we're here for you in PGP!

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