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My Experience at a Virtual Career Fair

Posted on 9/26/2020 4:28:30 AM by Ryan Calderaro

Just last week, I attended the virtual accounting and finance career fair. Now there’s one important thing to note: I’m not an accounting or finance major. So at first glance, it seems quite useless to attend a career fair that’s centered around majors that you’re not even in. Interestingly enough, I got a lot more value out of it than I thought. 

To start, this was actually the first career fair I had ever been to. I had zero experience with career fairs and networking events, so frankly, I didn’t have a good idea of what it was going to look like. I’m a business management and marketing major, so I didn’t expect there to be much that piqued my interest at the fair. 

The different thing about this career fair was that it was entirely virtual (thanks to COVID). We started on a screen with various “booths” of all the different companies at the fair. From here, you could choose which booth you’d like to enter and begin talking to a representative from that company. If all the reps were busy, you simply got queued up until a spot opened.  

Having this whole thing be online was an interesting experience in and of itself. Personally, I would’ve preferred attending an in-person one under normal circumstances. I enjoy meeting people face to face, but I can see this as being a more comfortable alternative to people who are shy or more reserved. Once you’re in the booth and a representative from the company is available, you can start communicating with them over text chat. If the representative chooses to, they can start a video chat instead. You have ten minutes with the representative until your interaction is over. 

Most of the booths I went to used only text chat, and I must admit, I was not a fan. Half of the allotted time was taken up by typing and exchanging formalities, so it wasn’t easy getting in good questions or giving meaningful responses. I found it very hard to connect with anyone solely over ten minutes of what was essentially texting. I did get more efficient as I visited more booths, however. 

Luckily, I had one booth where we had a video chat, and that was, by far, my favorite. It was much easier to connect with the person and learn about the company, their internships, and anything else we could talk about. We discussed a summer internship that interested me, and he gave me his email. Just today, I had a zoom meeting with him to ask a few more questions before I applied for the internship. If I hadn’t gone to the career fair, I wouldn’t have even known about this opportunity.

All in all, I’m glad that I went to this career fair, even if it wasn’t exactly for my majors. I got some good practice talking to employers and was even able to walk away with a possible internship that interests me! If you’ve heard about one of these career fairs at Cabrini and you’re on the fence about going, I would say take the leap. You never know what you might get out of it. 

To find out about upcoming career fairs, internship opportunities, and more, reach out to our Center for Career and Professional Development.