Listen to a conversation between a student and an employee in the university's career services office.
Hi, do you have a minute?
Sure, how can I help you?
I have a couple of questions about the career fair next week.
Um, well, are seniors the only ones who can go?
I mean, you know, they are finishing school this year and getting their degrees and everything… and, well, it seems like businesses would wanna talk to them and not first year students like me.
No, no, the career fair is opened to all our students and we encourage anyone who's interested to go check it out.
Well, that's good to know.
You've seen the flyers and posters around campus, I assume.
Sure, can't miss them. I mean, they all say where and when the fair is, just not who should attend.
Actually they do, but it's in the small print.
Uh, we should probably make that part easier to reach, shouldn't we?
I'll make a note of that right now. [pause with scribble sounds]
So, do you have any other questions?
Yes, actually I do now.
Um, since I'd only be going to familiarize myself with the process—you know, “check it out”—I was wondering if there is anything you could recommend that I do to prepare.
That's actually a very good question.
Well, as you know, the career fair is generally an opportunity for local businesses to recruit new employees, and for soon-to-be graduates to have interviews with several companies they might be interested in working for.
Now, in your case, even though you wouldn't be looking for employment right now, it still wouldn't hurt for you to prepare much like you would if you were looking for a job.
You mean, like get my resume together and wear a suit?
That's a given. I was thinking more along the lines of doing some research.
The flyers and posters list all the businesses that are sending representatives to the career fair.
Um, what's your major urge you to have one yet?
Well, I haven't declared a major yet, but I'm strongly considering accounting.
See, that's part of the reason I wanna go to the fair, to help me decide if that's what I really want to study.
That's very wise.
Well, I suggest that you get on the computer and learn more about the accounting companies in particular that would be attending.
You can learn a lot about companies from their internet websites.
Then prepare a list of questions.
Questions, hmm... [getting it] so, in a way, I'll be interviewing them?
That's one way of looking at it.
Think about it for a second. What do you want to know about working for an accounting firm?
Well, there is the job itself… and salary of course… and working conditions, I mean, would I have an office, or would I work in a big room with a zillion other employees? and… and maybe about opportunities for advancement.
See? Those're all important things to know.
After you do some research, you'll be able to tailor your questions to the particular company you are talking to.
Wow, I'm glad I came by here. [thoughtfully] So, it looks like I’ve got some work to do.
And if you plan on attending future career fairs, I recommend you sign up for one of our interview workshops.
I'll do that.