By Kait Kisel
On Thursday, October 5th, the Breslin Center was a sea of suits as day three of Michigan State University’s Career Gallery Business Exchange commenced. The Broad College of Business-focused annual career fair welcomes leading companies from around the world and provides Spartans the opportunity to take the first step in securing a job.
“Career Gallery is a great networking event to attend, even if you’re not looking for a position with a company at the time. It provides students with the overall experience of talking with a recruiter and presenting one’s best self,” said Maddy Marzonie (BA Supply Chain Management ‘18). “I make a point of talking to a variety of companies, even ones I wouldn’t have thought of working for prior to the great conversations we had,” she said.
With over 200 companies to network with, students from all majors (the majority represented by Broad students) ventured booth to booth, resumes in hand. An extensive range of companies were present at the event, allowing students pursuing various passions to find a potential home in a company. A few of said companies were Target Corporation, Amazon, Boeing, PepsiCo, and Ford Motor Company.
“My experience is that it is a lot easier to go to a Career Fair than to apply to job opportunities online. Here, we have present employers with the opportunity to put a face to the name when reading over resumes,” said Brooke Becksvoort (BA Business, Economics ’19).
This year, Career Gallery enhanced the student experience by launching the “Fairs App,” which was developed to provide students with the ability to see which companies would be at the fair, as well as where their booths would be located.
For those walking through the Breslin Center, it was hard not to notice the countless individuals proudly displaying green alumni ribbons pinned to their shirts. Students felt empowered knowing that alumni were the ones recruiting the next generation of Spartans to excel in their companies.
While the thought of being surrounded by 2,300 students (a record for Business Exchange) and 200 career opportunities might intimidate some, one Broad senior supply chain management student, Amy Cao, had some encouraging words to remember, “Coming out to a Career Fair is great exposure for students. My best advice I could pass along to others from my own personal experience is to be professional but remain comfortable and casual. You don’t want to ramble off all the facts about yourself, but rather have a conversation with the recruiters.”
It wasn’t just students who shared tips for attending Career Galleries. George Pruitt, a recruiter for PepsiCo shared the advice, “Be prepared. Come knowing what each company you intend to approach is offering. Most importantly, be confident and know why you want to work for the company.”
But Business Exchange isn’t the only step students will take in networking to future employers, explained Ashley Batteen, assistant director of the Lear Corporation Career Services Center. “On Interview Day, the Friday after the fair, we host 1,300+ interviews to allow for continual relationships to build between our students and employers.”
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