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I Didn’t Want to Go to Career Fairs – But Here’s Why You Should

As students, plenty of you don’t want to go to your college career fair. I certainly didn’t. It takes away from valuable free time, you have to change into something other than sweatpants, and spend time awkwardly interacting with people. But it wasn’t until I started representing my organization at career fairs that I gained a new perspective. Career fairs are actually incredibly important.

My Career Fair Experience

I attended career fairs maybe two or three times during college, all during my freshman or sophomore year. The only times I ever went was when my professors made me go. They made us do assignments based on the career fair (writing about our interactions, collecting a certain number of business cards, etc.). I thought going was a massive waste of time when I had such a busy schedule.

I was wrong.

Now that I occupy a position where I represent my …

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Career Fair Tips: tales from the other side of the table

It’s the end of September and career fair season is going strong. While I was in college, I unfortunately never attended a single fair, and I missed out on so many wonderful opportunities! Unlike applying online or through email, career fairs give you the opportunity to meet face-to-face with a wide variety of employers. You’re able to ask them plenty of questions about their company and internship/job openings while sharing information about yourself.

But now at Indiana INTERNnet, I get to go to so many career fairs throughout the state to let students know how we can help them find their next internship. Being on the other side of the table, I’ve learned a lot about what can help you stand out with recruiters. Here’s some tips:

Dress to impress…

If you’re going to a career fair, you should preferably dress in business professional attire, or business casual at the …

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Preparing for the End of Your Internship: Takeaways from the Indiana State Fair Event

Last Friday, the Indiana INTERNnet team joined over 50 interns at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for another summer intern engagement event.

Attendees played a round of trivia for a chance to win donated prizes – it was the perfect way to make sure everyone was wide awake and engaged. After buzzing in for questions about Indianapolis, Indiana and the State Fair, the interns were fired up and ready for the morning’s career development session.

Samantha Martin, assistant director of the Ball State University Career Center, was eager to take the floor and keep up the energy in the room. To start, she had participants split into groups for a unique networking game where everyone was asked to make a chain of facts that each of their internships had in common. The winning team took home “Fair Bucks” and Crew Car Wash coupons for connecting 66 facts into a story about …

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Should I have a Mentor?

Although the idea of having a career mentor is not new, the notion has grown in popularity in recent years. I had heard the word thrown around before, but I wasn’t quite aware of the popularity of this tactic until I read Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, last year. Successful professionals from a variety of backgrounds have endorsed mentorship and credited these types of relationships for a portion of their achievements.

So, what purpose does a mentor serve?

The Balance defines a mentor as someone who “becomes a source of wisdom, teaching, and support” for young professionals seeking guidance. Ideally, this would be a person that you could go to and ask for advice when facing work-related dilemmas and they could guide you based on their own experiences. While not completely necessary, it helps if this person works or has worked in the …

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Keep in Touch: A Guide to Following Up

You faced your fears and attended a networking event – perhaps it was one of Indiana INTERNnet’s summer engagement events – and made a great connection. You feel as though you navigated the conversation successfully, kept your stories relevant, and bonded with the person. You even went so far as to remember to ask for their card, so you have all the information necessary to follow up with them. How do you go about doing it?

Following up with someone, whether it is a stranger you met at a conference or a past supervisor you had for an internship, does not have to feel awkward. It can seem daunting to put yourself out on a limb and reach out to someone that you don’t know well or that you haven’t spoken to lately. The main thing that will help in either of those situations is to be confident in what …

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