Prepare for career fairs through “Expert Advice from Employers” event


Lauren Reid

The event as it looks on Handshake. “Expert Advice from Employers” is set to take place Thursday, Jan. 27.

It can be difficult for students to obtain internships while they are in college and full-time positions post graduation. Career fairs are an excellent way for students to put themselves out there and possibly land an opportunity within their field of study. Oakland University’s Career Services offers a wide range of help for students.

This semester, Career Services will be hosting “Expert Advice From Employers” for virtual and in-person career fairs. The event will take place virtually via zoom on Thursday, Jan. 27, from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., helping to prepare students for the upcoming in-person career fair on Feb. 2 and the virtual career fair on Feb.3.

Representatives from the Oakland University Credit Union, Hall Financial and Oakland County will be attending in a panel format. These representatives will discuss various concepts — such as researching employers of interest, professional dress, crafting a 30-second elevator pitch, highlighting skills and experiences, strategies to stand out from other candidates, virtual tips and following up with potential opportunities after the fair. A Q&A will take place, as well.

“The purpose behind this event is to give students an opportunity to get some advice from employers that are attending the winter career fairs,” Denise McConkey, Career Services career consultant, said. “So they can not only stand out, but make a good positive first impression.”

In the past, this event has seen many students benefit. All students are encouraged to attend and hone their skills to work on becoming more comfortable in career fair settings. Students of any class standing including alumni can attend this opportunity.

“This is a really exciting event. Over the different times we have held it, we have gotten a pretty strong attendance,” Emily Cutlip, Career Services career consultant, said. “It’s something that is multischool, so this event will benefit students of any major and any class standing, even alumni. So really, there is not a student population I feel wouldn’t benefit from an event like this. That’s what’s so exciting — it’s applicable to everyone.”

Students can gain knowledge and learn proper preparation from attending. The concepts covered can also help students ease their nerves and feel more confident when attending career fairs. Confidence is a significant component when accomplishing success at career fairs.

“Really, it’s an opportunity to take this information and apply it,” McConkey said. “And hopefully, that will also lessen some of the nervousness and anxiety students sometimes feel prior to a career fair and interacting with employers, whether it’s in person or virtual. So hopefully, we can lessen that anxiety and increase their confidence. They are going into this career fair — whether in person or virtual — feeling prepared, confident and that they know how they want to portray themselves and what they are going to say to this employer to promote themselves as a potential candidate.”

The Office of Career Services wants to see students succeed. They offer plenty of resources to students and devote their time to anyone who asks for help.

“At career services, one of our biggest goals is student success,” Cutlip said. “Even me personally as a career consultant, it makes my heart happy when students are able to fulfill their dreams and goals. This is the step to getting there. So career services gain from hosting this event because students gain from this event. We get to see students succeed, and we get to see students land jobs and internships. And that makes us really happy.”

Students interested in attending the event can register on Handshake.