This past week, I had the pleasure of attending the Florida Tech Career Fair. The Career Services Office here on campus puts this event together twice a year (once a semester) in an effort to connect potential employers to our high caliber student body. In the first year of your collegiate career you might be required to go for University Experience so that you might get a feel for the career fair environment, how to dress and maybe even find an internship for the summer (safe to say I’ve become a frequent flyer over at Men’s Warehouse). As you progress through the years, generally you’re looking for summer internships or co-op opportunities to bolster your resume for your senior year where you’re most likely looking for a full time job.
In years past I’ve often been disappointed with the career fairs because, as a business major, there were never that many companies looking to hire for my skill set. Being one of the nation’s best engineering schools seems to attract a lot more engineering and technologically-inclined hiring personnel. When looking for internships, I was often shot down because they were only looking for engineering or computer science interns. However, this year seemed to have a bit more of a different feel. I’ve come to realize that every business will require marketing or business-related skill sets no matter the industry so in reality, all these companies were potential employers, no matter what they said on paper or announced at their booths. I approached companies I normally wouldn’t have because I did not set an invisible roadblock to those not saying they were actively looking for business.
One company in particular, Mox Fuel Fabrication caught my attention because they were advertising that they were the greenest company at the career fair. Being a sustainability minor, I was curious and so I struck up a conversation with one of the hiring managers that happened to be behind the table. I learned the company was in the business of decommissioning nuclear war heads and turning the weapons grade plutonium into nuclear fuel to power our nation. They were primarily looking for chemical and software engineers but my curiosity and conversation lead me to discuss marketing with them. My contact remembered that a marketing position was opening up soon and was eager to take a copy of my resume for further consideration (fingers crossed).
The lesson here is similar to how I got my marketing internship last summer at Rosedale Vineyards in Simsbury, CT. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK. There were a number of other companies that had in years prior not even bothered to look at my resume that upon seeing I was graduating in three months, were very keen to get my information and give me their personal business card for follow-ups. I plan on following up with these companies as well as sending out my resume to a number of other positions before I graduate. Hopefully I’ll land a few interviews and who knows, maybe even a job offer or two.