The campus seems to have taken a collective sigh of relief now that the Spring Career Fair is over. Now What?! Are you still feeling unsure of your internship or job search? PGP Can help! Plus, there are still upcoming recruiting events this spring, as well as plenty of great opportunities in the weekly PGP News and in Handshake.
What should you do after a career fair? Here are a few tips to keep you moving forward in the process:
- Follow up with the companies that you were most interested in. 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've applied to, and when.
- Once you've applied on-line, research and 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 or from Handshake, an Olin alum- someone who may be able to call attention to the resume you just submitted to their database. Compose an email to the recruiter or person(s) 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. Your question at the end - What do you suggest I do as a next step?
- IF your contact is an Olin alum, don't assume they will refer you JUST BECAUSE you're from Olin. Be polite and introduce yourself tell them a bit more about you and your technical abilities. You can also suggest that you are available to follow-up by phone or in person to help them feel more comfortable referring you. In most cases you may want to reach out to an alum prior to applying online.
"Hello Mary, It was great meeting you at the Olin Career Fair. 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 2023. I have applied on your website to these requisitions - [list them by name or by number] - and I am also attaching a current version of my resume. I can best be reached by email or cell on Tuesdays and Thursdays after 3 PM, and I look forward to hearing from you soon! "
- If you didn't get to speak to all the companies at the fair, can't remember someone you spoke with or if you missed a company you wanted to meet, check Handshake or email Suzanne for contacts.
- Read the weekly PGP newsletter that comes out on Friday afternoons! These have our 'hottest job leads' - people who have just called us on the phone saying, "Hey we have an intern opening and would love to talk with some of your students."
- 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 (or follow up with) 6-10 companies during upcoming weekends. Make it actionable, and measurable.
- Anticipating an interview or already have one scheduled? Plan to meet with Kristin or Suzanne for interview preparations. You can schedule an appointment in Handshake.
- Still not getting any interviews, or interested in companies who weren't at our career fairs? Make a list of your ‘target’ employers and research their openings. Check handshake and PGP News for ideas, as well as some of the many industry-specific resources PGP has curated.
- Thinking about research for the summer? Review the research opportunities available at Olin and elsewhere. Start to get familiar with the National Science Foundation which funds many REU's each year - you can find their site here.
- Talk to your professors and see if they know of any opportunities for the summer.
- Log into Handshake often. New jobs/internships are being posted every day!
- Set attainable goals: I will apply to 10 companies before the end of the month, or I will attempt to get an interview by Spring Break, or Right now I need to focus on school-work but over Spring Break I will start applying to companies.
Remember: You got this!