On Tuesday, Feb. 19, George Fox University’s IDEA Center will host its third annual Job & Internship Fair. The fair is an opportunity for students to network with employers and recruiters in the greater Portland area, as representatives from multiple industries – ranging from business to English to youth ministry – visit the university’s Newberg campus.
With more than 40 employers in attendance, the fair is a must-attend for George Fox students who are seeking to network, find internships and/or secure jobs after graduation.
Recent alumna Andrea Roberts and current senior Tyler Ridings both successfully networked at last year’s fair with Gensco, a distributor and manufacturer of HVAC products, resulting in Roberts finding a full-time position and Ridings a summer internship with the company.
Today, Roberts works for Gensco as an e-commerce and digital marketing specialist, using the graphic design training she received at George Fox in her everyday job. She is responsible for managing Gensco’s app and three websites while also maintaining and creating content, developing mockup website updates, and creating smaller websites for events and trips.
Ridings loved his internship experience at Gensco as a purchasing intern. “I felt like I was included among the full-time staff and could approach them at any time if I needed help or to ask a question,” he says of the experience.
Ironically, neither Ridings nor Roberts originally planned to network with Gensco at the Job & Internship Fair. Ridings was looking for companies with internships specific to management majors, while Roberts was seeking design companies and companies with an in-house marketing department. Roberts had no idea a HVAC company was in search of a person with design and marketing experience.
“It opened my eyes to the possibilities of where and for whom I could work,” Roberts says. “I had never heard of Gensco when I went to the fair until I came across their booth and started chatting with their rep. I am so glad I did!”
Although Ridings wound up landing an internship with Gensco, he was well-prepared to network with other companies. To prepare, he looked up the list of companies attending and chose which recruiters he was interested in networking with. Next, he researched their websites and what positions they were looking to fill. Ridings also took notes on the details of the internship programs that were of most interest to him.
Roberts offers the following advice for students preparing to attend the fair:
- Look professional. Dress business casual to show recruiters you put in the extra effort to look nice for the event.
- Bring multiple copies of your resume,up-to-date and proofed, on professional cardstock paper. Ensure all additional items pertaining to your major are included in your experience.
- Practice! Practice! Practice! Talk with other people to prepare for the delivery of your elevator pitch. Be prepared to reflect yourself well when explaining to recruiters who you are.
- Branch out and avoid only talking to a small set of recruiters from your favorite companies.
The Job and Internship Fair is an excellent opportunity to bridge the gap from college to career through talking with recruiters and company representatives. Register for the fair today on Handshake to check out the 40-plus companies who will be attending. The fair is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Canyon Commons. We hope to see you there!